Michaelmas Day

Today, 29th of September, is the Feast of Michaelmas, that is the Feast of Michael and All Angels. It is a day which has shaped our society over the centuries.

Michaelmas is one of the four ‘quarter days’ of the financial, judicial, and academic year, as in ‘Michaelmas Term’, and is associated with the beginning of Autumn and the shortening of days.

Traditionally, harvests had to be completed by Michaelmas as it marked the end of the productive season. Harvest was over and the reeve of the manor would make out the accounts for the year. Servants were hired, land was exchanged and debts paid. Locally, in medieval times the four vaccary farms of Accrington Forest, Antley, Cowhouses, High Riley and Baxenden, all had to take their oxen to market by Michaelmas.

Michaelmas Daisies flower late and provide colour to our gardens when most flowers have finished. Giving a Michaelmas Daisy to someone symbolises saying farewell, perhaps in the same way as Michaelmas says farewell to the farming year or the daisies say ‘goodbye’ to the summer.

Michaelmas is a shortened form of “Michael’s Mass”, rather like Christmas is for Christ’s Mass. The feast recognises the presence of angelic beings and their participation and ultimate victory in the war against darkness. 

Michaelmas reminds us of the reality of spiritual struggles and that Angels are messengers of God. They are always near us and they fight evil with us.

Michaelmas Prayers


Everlasting God, you have ordained and constituted in a wonderful order the ministries of angels and mortals: Mercifully grant that, as your holy angels always serve and worship you in heaven, so by your appointment they may help and defend us here on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


In the power of the Spirit,

and in union with Christ,

let us pray to the Father.

Father in heaven,

by his blood your Christ has ransomed us to you,

and has made us a kingdom and priests to you our God.

As the angels minister to you in heaven,

strengthen your Church to serve you here on earth.

Father in heaven,

when the angels greeted the birth of your Son

they sang for joy ‘Glory to God and peace on earth’.

Bless with Christ’s peace the nations of the world.

Father in heaven,

your Son has promised to your children

the care of the guardian angels who look upon your face.

Protect by your mercy our neighbours, families and friends.

Father in heaven,

you give your angels charge over those who trust in you

to guard them in all their ways.

Be with those in trouble,

rescue them and show them your salvation.

Father in heaven,

your angel declares ‘Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.’

‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit,

‘for they may rest from their labours,

for they take with them the record of their deeds.’

Enfold in your love all who come in faith

to your judgement seat in heaven.

Father in heaven,

the angels sing by day and night around your throne:

‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty.’

With Michael, prince of the angels, who contends by our side,

with Gabriel, your herald, who brings glad tidings,

with Raphael, the protector, who ministers your healing,

and with the whole company of heaven,

we worship you, we give you glory,

we sing your praise and exalt you for ever.