24 March 2017

The Feast of Saint Gabriel the Archangel


I was reviewing some information of the Use of Hereford regarding the Feast of Saint Gabriel the Archangel and the cult of St Gabriel in the thirteenth century at Exeter, and I was struck again by how unfortunate it is that great Saint Gabriel was deprived of his separate feast day in the Novus Ordo Missae of Paul VI.  I am not in the least bit consoled by the consolidation of feasts such that the Feast of St Michael and All Angels was supplanted by the Feast of the Three Archangels Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael.

When the Feast of Saint Gabriel is celebrated on the 24th of March it is a natural progression to the great feast and festival of the Annunciation on March the 25th.  The following comes from the propers for the Feast of St Gabriel the Archangel found in a missal of Anglican provenance:

The Collect.
O GOD, who for the announcing of the mystery of thine Incarnation didst choose Saint Gabriel before all the other Angels: mercifully grant that as we do keep his feast here on earth; so also we may be assisted by his patronage in heaven. Who livest and reignest with the Father ...

For the Epistle. Daniel 9:21-26
21 In those days: Behold, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation. 22 And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. 23 At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision. 24 Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. 25 Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. 26 And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

The Gospel. St Luke 1:26-38
26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. 29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: 33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. 34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? 35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing shall be impossible. 38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.