The Meaning of Michaelmas

rws_approach_5On Friday, September 30, Richmond Waldorf School will celebrate Michaelmas with a pageant performed for the community by the students in the grades, a community lunch, and a “Feats of Strength” field day for the grades students. The season of Michaelmas is also felt in our classrooms, from Early Childhood to grade 8, in the songs, verses and artistic activities that characterize this time of the year.  Because Michaelmas is not commonly celebrated or well known in this country, we’d like to share a little bit about the nature and significance of Michael, whom we honor on this day.

The archangel Michael is the embodiment of courage. It is he who casts out Lucifer and vanquishes the dragon in the depths. Michael gives human beings the courage to meet the challenges of the present and the confidence to look to the challenges of the future without fear. Michael lends his strength to those who struggle against the forces of darkness. The celebration of Michaelmas teaches the importance of overcoming fear and strengthening resolve. It educates and empowers children to find their own personal courage to confront dragons and work to make the world a better place.

At Richmond Waldorf School we are doing our small part to realize this vision. At Michaelmas time, we especially try to put ideals into action-to look beyond our narrow selves to what others need and to what the world needs. The world is full of dragons. These dragons spread hatred and fear, doubt and destruction, but they also present opportunities. In the pageant that our students perform, the dragon that terrorizes the kingdom is tamed, not slain. He is led into service, and his strength is used for the good. Let us hope that this picture strengthens our students as they move forward into the future.