Feast Day of the Holy Archangel Gabriel
Intent: The Return of the Lesser Light
In the Gnostic Tradition Archangels are forces emanating from the One working in all the aeons to bring all things back into the Pleroma. As the Archangel of Divine Strength, Gabriel is therefore one of the countless rays which form part of the Great Light of God’s Holy Love.
The Gnostic Church has restored the feast day of Gabriel to the Winter Solstice and those of the other 3 other major Archangels to the Summer Solstice and Equinoxes. Therefore, the four Great Archangels stand guard at the four cardinal points and mark and rule the turning of the Seasons.
Gabriel means the “Strength of God” and more than any other Angel is the most present in scripture as a ‘Messenger of the Light’ in our midst.
For example in Jewish scriptures, Gabriel appears to the prophet Daniel, to explain his visions (Daniel 8:15–26, 9:21–27) and he is also found in important apocryphal writings such as the Book of Enoch. In the New Testament , the angel Gabriel appears to Zechariah and the Virgin Mary (Luke 1:11–38) and announces the birth of John the Baptist and the conception of Jesus.
In the Christian esoteric tradition, Gabriel is the Archangel and ruler of the Element of Water and of the Moon and is usually depicted wearing robes of blue bordered with orange and carrying a Chalice or the Grail.
Gabriel also has a special place to play during the end times and has long been identified as the trumpeter, or messenger, of the apocalypse. The earliest known identification of him as this trumpeter comes from John Wycliffe's 1382 tract, De Ecclesiæ Dominio. An illumination in an Armenian manuscript from the year 1455, also shows Gabriel sounding his trumpet as the dead climb out of their graves. Two centuries later, Gabriel is again identified as the trumpeter, in John Milton's Paradise Lost (1667). In the Tarot he is identified as the Angel found above the figures rising from the grave on the Judgment Card (Tarot Trump XX).
In Eastern Orthodox Churches, Gabriel is commemorated together with the other Archangels during the feast day of the "Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers" on November 8. In the west, the feast of Saint Gabriel was included for the first time in the General Roman Calendar in 1921, for celebration on March 24 but in 1969 the day was officially transferred to September 29 for celebration in conjunction with the feast of St. Michael and St. Raphael. As mentioned above, in the French Gnostic Church, he is now commemorated on December 21st, the Winter Solstice and is therefore the ruler of that season as well.
O Gabriel Archangel, Regent of the Planet of the Moon, Lord of the Power of water, Guardian of the West, you who is rightfully called the force of God, since you were chosen to announce to Mary the Holy Mother the mystery with which God would reveal his strength, help us know the treasures that are found in the Word of the Son of God and be our messengers to His Holy Mother Sophia. Amen.
Rev. Father Mathieu Ravignat