Maronite Catholic: Chant...September 29th: The Feast of St. Michael
The Feast of St. Michael
A long tradition identifies St. Michael the Archangel, as the leader who remained faithful to God, and cast Lucifer at God’s command. His powerful aid has always been invoked by the Church in time of emergency.
The Popes have constantly called on St. Michael as the special protector of the Church whenever great evils threatened God’s people. For this reason, St. Michael is especially honored at Rome, on Monte Gargano, near Foggia, in Italy, and in France on Mont St. Michel in Normandy.
In times of unusual danger, when the malice of the devil seems triumphant, St. Michael will come to our aid.
This is the feast day of St. Michael and all the Angels. It is the most ancient of all the angel festivals. The Anglican church celebrates all angels, both name and unnamed on one day. Roman and Orthodox Churches separate them into two categories (with the unnamed angels having their feast day on October 2nd).
From fairly early on, Michaelmas was an important holiday, the religious or Christian equivalent of the autumn equinox. In England, it was considered the start of a new quarter. It marked the start of a new business year, a time for electing officials, making contracts, paying rent, hiring servants, holding court and starting school. Obviously we still see the remnants of this in the timing of our elections and school year.
This is also a time when the weather is known to change. In Italy, they say "For St. Michael, heat goes into the heavens." In Ireland, people expect a marked decrease in sickness or disease. The Irish also consider this a lucky day for fishing:
Plenty comes to the boat on Micheael's Day.
Barolini records a nursery rhyme about hours of sleep:
Nature requires five,
Custom gives seven,
Laziness takes nine
And Michaelmas eleven.