The Feast of the Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel commonly known as Michaelmas, will be observed in a celebration of High Mass at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street in New Haven, on Sunday, 29 September, at 2:00 pm. The Reverend Peter Langevin, Parochial Vicar of the Cathedral of St. Patrick, Norwich, will be the celebrant and homilist, and the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chant for the service.
The Hebrew name Michael means “Who is like unto God?” and recalls the battle in heaven between the prince of the heavenly host and the devil, a battle that began with Lucifer’s rebellion and continues down through the ages. In this tremendous struggle Michael and his angels, together with the Church and her saints, are Christ’s allies against Satan and his demonic cohorts. At the offertory of the Requiem Mass, the church prays that God’s Standard-bearer Michael may lead the departed Christian soul into heaven. The offertory at Michaelmas reminds us that St. Michael also presides over our worship, for he is the angel whom St. John saw in heaven near God’s altar, censer in hand, offering the fragrant incense of the prayers of the saints.
As the Church Militant faces these scandal-ridden days, it behooves Christians everywhere redouble their devotion to St. Michael and to invoke him daily in the prayer ordered by Pope Leo XIII to be said after every Low Mass:
Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits, who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.
The schedule of High Masses in the traditional Latin form at St. Stanislaus Church, State Street at Eld Street in New Haven, will resume this fall with the celebration of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross on Sunday, September 15, at 2:00 pm. The Reverend Richard Cipolla, Pastor Emeritus of St. Mary’s Church, Norwalk, will be the celebrant and homilist, and the Schola Cantorum of the St. Gregory Society will sing the Gregorian chant for the service.
The Feast of the Holy Cross commemorates the finding of the True Cross by St. Helena, Mother of the Emperor Constantine, who erected churches upon the sites of the Holy Sepulchre and Calvary. The dedication took place on the 13th and 14th of September of 335. In this feast we memorialize Christ’s death on the Cross, which was at once His sacrifice and His victory. He Himself foretold on the eve of His Passion: “The prince of this world is to be cast out. Yes, if only I am lifted up from the earth, I will attract all men to myself.” (Gospel). St. Paul also points out that the law of exaltation through suffering may be said to have governed the whole of Christ’s life. (Epistle), and draws the moral that “it behoves us to glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Introit).
The external celebration of this feast has special significance for the members and friends of the St. Gregory Society. It was on this feast day in 2007 that Pope Benedict XVI’s apostolic letter Summorum Pontificum went into effect, granting all priests of the Latin rite Church the right to celebrate Mass in the traditional Latin form and the faithful to request such celebrations be regularly available in their parishes. It is, therefore, a most fitting occasion for us thankfully to rejoice in the Holy Father’s provision for widespread use of the traditional Roman liturgy.
First Friday Mass will be offered at 8:00 a.m. on September 6.
The Latin Low Mass for the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary will be offered on August 15 at 5:30 p.m.