The Michaelmas festival season begins on September 29, the traditional feast day of the Archangel Michael. The season lasts four weeks, and is the last of the nine festivals of the liturgical year. As with all endings, we anticipate a new beginning. At this point in the cycle of the year, past the equinox, we are already turning toward Christmas, which is the festival of Christ’s coming birth, both then and now.
In preparation for the birth of Christ in the soul at Christmas, the archangel Michael helps us keep the dragons of hatred, doubt and fear in check. He helps us to develop the courage, inner balance and strength to love. The prayers at the altar during this season are addressed to the heart, and encourage us to earnestly plumb the depths where we can encounter the countenance of Christ, and to transform the earthly into spirit awareness.
The pink and light green of the vestments are the pastel hues of the colors at Easter. They let us feel how the victorious power of Easter is transformed in human beings through the great light of the Spirit. In red and green at Easter, the powers of heaven take hold of earthly matter. In pink and pale green at Michaelmas, earthly matter is transfigured and purified.
The Michaelmas season is followed by a Trinity interval, before the liturgical year begins again at Advent.