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How Michaelmas echoes throughout Autumn

One of the most evocative characteristics of Michaelmas, the first of the high feasts of Autumn, is how it opens before us the feasts and observances which mark this season. Standing as it does close to the beginning of Autumn, Michaelmas anticipates how this darkening time of year is filled with spiritual riches, sometimes in abundant joy, sometimes with stark recollection. Even as we celebrate Michaelmas, many parish churches in these Islands and in Canada will also be preparing to celebrate the Festival of Harvest Thanksgiving.  Michaelmas brings to mind the ministry of the angels in the eschatological harvest: "The harvest is the end of the world. And the reapers are the angels" (Matthew 13:39).  It points, in other words, to how Harvest Thanksgiving, while a joyous celebration of the order of creation, is also an icon of the order of redemption, reflected in the popular hymnody associated with Harvest: 'Then, the Church triumphant come, raise the song of harvest-home

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