Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Angels are Coming

'The Angels are Coming' - That is what it says on sheets of paper all around my school at the moment. This is a new one on me. I am used to celebrating the Feast of St. Michael, St. Gabriel, St. Raphael and All Angels on the 29th September, and Guardian Angels on the 2nd October heartily, but relatively quietly. 

Not so this year. 

My school used to be cared for by religious sisters. The entrance is dedicated to The Guardian Angels. Over years of their care a tradition developed whereby each year students chose the Friday nearest the  feasts of St Michael, St Gabriel, St. Raphael and All Angels and Guardian Angels to recognise the love, care and hard work of their teachers, the sisters, and those who kept the school together body and soul (the cooks, the cleaners, the ICT technicians, the office staff). Secondary students being as they are, this recognition came in a unique form. Thus, this week, for the Feasts of St Michael, St Gabriel and St Raphael and All Angels and Guardian Angels, girls will wear their hair in bunches, and steal a tie from a boy; everyone will wear Angel wings; Mass will be celebrated; students will bring teachers a gift; staff will play students at both netball and football; there will be free time and, in the afternoon, a play, led by Year 13. The play is a skit on school life - often a gentle humorous critique of teachers by those pupils who know them best. I've only been there a few weeks, so I am hoping to get off lightly!

I have not seen this anticipated tradition in action yet, but already I like it. What better way to celebrate All Angels than to acknowledge those angels we see everyday? The people that stand by our side to protect, help and guide us? If you forget to acknowledge the visible help you receive in daily life, how can you ever begin to recognise the work of those who are invisible, and hard to see? Begin at the beginning. The Angels are Coming. The Angels are already here.

I do have a recipe in mind for this feast. Something I have missed of late. I will publish it later. In the meantime, I am off to think of ingenious ways to recognise, over the course of the next week, the angels in my life. If you are hungry, check out the cake I made last year. I do hope the weather prediction I made last year does not hold for this. There have been acorns down for three weeks here in Oxford - it bodes for a long, cold and frozen winter. Dare I say it now, I think I do. There will be a white Christmas, and I will make a snow angel in the garden.

NEWS FLASH: It was announced today the OFSTED would be paying school a visit this coming Thursday and Friday. Yes, that is in time to join our community in celebration of Guardian Angels. Please pray for us all. I am not sure how the inspectors will take to watching the staff play football and netball with the students, or what they will think of Year 13 managing the school for the day. We are going to need every Guardian Angel in the building to be working their very hardest: Archangels, Cherubims, Seraphims, Powers and Dominations - register order, please. Thank you.

No comments: