September 21 – 29
Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house, and test me now in this,” says Yahweh of Armies, “if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough for. – Malachi 3:10
Before I can tell you what this holiday is I have to go back to when it starts. Long ago, to mark the changing of the seasons the Church instituted the Ember Days. Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, close to or before the change of the season. Ember Days are the days of preparation, marked with prayer, fasting or abstinence. The Autumnal Ember Days are the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday before Autumnal Equinox.
Now that you are spiritually prepared for the season of Autumn, it is time to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox (September 21). Happy Thanksgiving! It is Thanksgiving, the original date. The Autumnal Equinox is a time to celebrate the blessings that God has poured into the world. One of the three holidays that God decreed (Lammas, Autumnal Equinox, Passover). For more information see “Lammas Introduction” post and the “Passover Introduction” post.
“You shall observe a feast to me three times a year. You shall observe the feast of unleavened bread. Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread, as I commanded you, at the time appointed in the month Abib (for in it you came out from Egypt), and no one shall appear before me empty. And the feast of harvest, the first fruits of your labors, which you sow in the field: and the feast of harvest, at the end of the year, when you gather in your labors out of the field. Exodus 23:14-16
This holiday of Thanksgiving lasts for seven days, the number of Divine completion and Spiritual perfection. Celebrating God’s Love for us as witnessed in the Harvest in a great Thanksgiving to God! Harvest work is over, thanks to God we have provisions for the coming winter. Thanksgiving for seven days!
Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus toward you. – 1 Thessalon 5:16 -18
The last day of the feast, which is actually the day after the last Thanksgiving day, is Michaelmas (September 29). Michaelmas is the celebration of the Feast of Saint Michael. It comes at the end of Thanksgiving because we must also remember to be thankful for all that God does for us including sending His Angels. It comes at the end of Thanksgiving because winter is coming. Like the Ember Days prepare us for fall, so too does the feast of Michael prepare us for the days getting shorter and the coming darkness. Michael is God’s messenger sent to defend us against the powers of evil. So as the world darkens and we have prepared for winter, we must also remember that we should always be prepared against evil.
At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who stands for the children of your people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who shall be found written in the book. – Daniel 12:1
With God not only looking out for you, but also sending a special guard to protect us allowing us to celebrate.
(This is an adaptation of the prayer of Saint Francis)
Thank you Father for all Your creatures, thank you for Brother Sun, Who is the day through whom You give us light. And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor, Of You Most High, he bears the likeness.
Thank you Father for Sister Moon and the stars, in the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair. Today they stand equal and balanced.
Thank you Father for Brothers Wind and Air, and fair and stormy, all weather’s moods, by which You cherish all that You have made.
Thank you Father for Sister Water, so useful, humble, precious and pure.
Thank you Father for Brother Fire, through whom You light the night and he is beautiful and playful and robust and strong.
Thank you Father for Sister Earth, who sustains us, with fruits, flowers and animals.
Thank you Father for this Equinox, through which You show us not Death but Life Abundant. Amen.
Peace be with you.