Today is the feast day of the “synaxis of the angels” in the Orthodox church. We are not Orthodox. And… I’m going to celebrate it anyhow. Report me to the religious authorities if you must, but I’m unrepentant.
According to some websites I’ve looked up, “synaxis” means “meeting” and the feast day is to consider the meeting of the angels prior to the second coming of Jesus and the establishment of the Kingdom of God. The Orthodox Church, never outdone when it comes to symbolic meaning, selected this day because it was the ninth month from March (with March as the first month in the countdown) for the nine choirs of angels, and the eighth day of the month because the establishment of the Kingdom of God will be the symbolic “eighth day of creation.”
I never knew about this holiday before about a year ago, and yet for the last two years, pretty cool things have happened to me on this day (as confirmed by a brief trip through my journal.) Therefore, we’re going to celebrate it.
How does one celebrate an angel’s feast day? See, here’s where I get into trouble. I’m Italian, so therefore there is one and only one way to celebrate a holiday. We eat. Tonight my family will enjoy a lasagna, a baked dessert of some variety (either I’ll bake cookies or buy a cheesecake) and I may have the tribe of Kiddos sing something to the tune of “Happy Birthday to You” which will have my Patient Husband rolling his eyes.
This is kind of a step up from what I used to do, which was take whichever kid was home from school out to Dunkin Donuts to “celebrate our angels’ special day.” For a while, Kiddo#3 would look at the picture of the big muffin on the wall there and say, “Happy to-you?” Because yes, I made them sing for their donut. Or their guardian angels’ donut. Angels need to laugh too.
Please don’t point out to me the relative intelligence of celebrating with food the feast day of beings who, in the normal order of things, do not eat.
Angel #1: Hey, that lasagna looks DELICIOUS! I can’t wait to try– Oh,
wait we don’t eat.
Angel #2: Well, all the better, because you’ll want to save room for
dessert, a chocolate turtle cheesecake. Oh, wait, we don’t eat.
Angel #3: Then I guess commenting about the vintage wine she’s
uncorking would also be a waste of time. I assume we don’t drink.
Angel #1: Bummer.
A friend of mine assures me that they’ll just appreciate being noticed. I hope so.
And yes, Kiddo#2 did try to game the system. One day, out of the blue, she announced that it was HER guardian angel’s special day, and therefore he needed a donut. I said that a better way to celebrate would be to say a special prayer thanking God that she’d been given such a wonderful guardian. Her little face fell. And yes, before the end of the day, I caved, and the guardian angel of Kiddo#2 got his vicarious donut.