In late September, closely following the autumn equinox, we celebrate the festival of Michaelmas. The students in the lower grades learn the story of “St. Michael and the Dragon” and perform the Michaelmas Play for their schoolmates and community.
Brave and true will I be,
Each good deed sets me free,
Each kind word makes me strong.
I will fight for the right!
I will conquer the wrong!
Sword of Michael brightly gleaming,
Down to earth its light is streaming,
May we see its shining rays
In the Winter’s darkest days.
The festival is named for the archangel Michael, the guardian of humanity, who inspires courage, initiative and steadfastness. The image of St. Michael with his golden sword, gives us the courage to face the growing cold and darkness of the turning of season. As the world around us draws inward, we too begin to draw into ourselves in preparation of the coming season of introspection and contemplation.
When the deeper inner meaning of this festival is contemplated, a nourishing and sustaining quality enables us to participate and enrich our own lives and the lives of our families and our community.
St. Michael’s Harvest Song
In autumn comes Saint Michael with sword and with shield
Passes over meadow and orchard and field.
He’s on the path to battle ‘gainst darkness and strife –
He is the heavenly warrior protector of life.
Illustration by Chalkboard Drawings In The Waldorf Classroom