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xxxvi. Signs and Wonders - Angels


14thC fusion of Old English engel and Old French angele, both from Latin angelus, from Greek angelos ‘messenger, envoy, one that announces’.

Veronica’s Song

a cycle of poems for Easter after The Stations of the Cross

1. Station The First

Jesus is Condemned to Death

His mind stayed on the supper table

when they dressed him in the contents of

the cup and from sharp thorns felt trickle

down into his mouth the vintage of

their hate. His mind stayed on the supper

table when they broke his body like

a loaf of bread - dough soft, the mixture

and measure of their resolve to strike

and silence him despite the cost. His mind

stayed on the supper table for this

longest season of his life. But when time

and truth ran out, behind him, behind

his bound wrists, knew only for their sake

he held the armies of the angels back.

Jeff Guess


If you had asked a person 1000 years ago if they believed in angels they would have certainly replied in the affirmative. It is difficult in modern times to take angels seriously. I do - and believe in them. I suppose most people today would ask if angels are real or merely symbolic. For me they are neither but exist as angels and do their angel ‘work’ somewhere between these two things. Noted for their work as messengers and protectors, my guardian angel is more a presence as a muse. She watches over my work, she gives me confidence and inspiration, and she goes away and comes back. And she celebrates with me the finished poem.

Reading: St Matthew 28: 1-10

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men. The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” NIV


Angels from the realms of glory,

Wing your flight o’er all the earth;

Ye who sang creation’s story

Now proclaim Messiah’s birth.


Come and worship, come and worship,

Worship Christ, the newborn King.

James Mont­gom­e­ry, 1816

Angels we have heard on high

Sweetly singing o’er the plains,

And the mountains in reply

Echoing their joyous strains.


Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Tra­di­tion­al French car­ol

©Jeff Guess 2017

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