This special service marks the Feast of Saint Michael and all Angels, or “Michaelmas.” The service, celebrated since the fifth century, commemorates the Archangel Michael's triumph over the devil, often portrayed as a dragon, and his expulsion from heaven. The Duke Vespers Ensemble will lead the music, which includes pieces by Heinrich Isaac, Jakob Handl, Luca Marenzio, Leone Leoni, and Richard Dering. The service is followed by a choral postlude with music by Claudio Monteverdi and Gregor Eichinger.
Admission to the service is free, and all are welcome.
Saint Michael's battle with the dragon is described this way in the Book of Revelation (12:7–9): "Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. The great dragon was hurled down—that ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him."
This dramatic narrative has inspired composers over the centuries. Two of the most frequently set texts are (in Latin followed by English translation in italics):
Factum est silentium in cælo, dum committeret bellum draco cum Michaele Archangelo.
Audita est vox milia milium dicentum, Salus, honor et virtus Omnipotenti Deo. Alleluia.
There was silence in heaven while the dragon fought with the Archangel Michael
A sound was heard, thousands of thousands saying: salvation, honor and power to almighty God. Alleluia.
— Matins Respond for Michaelmas
Duo seraphim clamabant alter ad alterum:
Sanctus Dominus Deus Sabaoth.
Plena est omnis terra gloria ejus.
Two seraphim cried to one another:
Holy is the Lord God of Sabaoth.
The whole earth is full of his glory.
Parking is available on a first-come-first-served basis in the Bryan Center garage at 125 Science Drive. ADA parking is available in the Bryan Center Surface Lot at the same address. For more parking options, visit chapel.duke.edu/visit-events/visit#parking. The service is livestreamed on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/dukechapel and broadcast live on channel 12 of the Duke Hospital TV system and channel 110 of the Duke Campus Vision TV system.