Lesson 19: Choir Practice

I believe in God.

Not only things you can see tell you of God, but also the holy angels. They are usually pictured for us with wings, white robes, haloes of light round their heads; but this is only to help us to think about them. In our Bethlehem Play the angels wear white robes and have wings (though, as they are made of tissue paper and some of these angels are fairly fat, I doubt if they would be much use for flying): we can’t afford haloes.

The holy angels too are spirits (Psalm 104, 4), not having bodies like ours (how lovely it must be never to grow tired, have a cold in the head or an earache!). The Bible is full of teaching and stories about them: Balaam and his donkey, our Lady St. Mary on March 25th, shepherds on Christmas night, our Lord’s temptations in the wilderness, St. Peter in prison. Only God, who made them, knows how many millions and millions of them there are.

Some of their names end in “el” (Hebrew, “God”): Michael (“who is like God”), Gabriel (“hero of God”).

Their greatest joy is to worship God in heaven (Isaiah 6, 1 to 3): a joy which we hope will one day be ours too, and of which we get a taste now every time we go to Mass and say or sing “Therefore with angels and archangels.”

[This week’s picture is of Sarah Susannah Snatchpiece, in her best Sunday frock - how many coupons? - doing the same as an angel.]

The angels also come to this world, and bring messages from God (“angel” is a Greek word, meaning “messenger”); and every baptised person has a special Guardian Angel (St. Matthew 18, 10) to look after him or her all through life on earth.

As we think of, and read about, the angels (especially on September 29th); as we sing about them (English Hymnal 243, Ancient and Modern 335); as they come into our thoughts at Mass, they and we worshipping the same one God; each of us finds another reason for saying I believe in God.