Once upon a time, for a period of about 80 years, the Prayer to St. Michael was recited routinely at the end of Mass. The liturgical reforms of the 1960s made the prayer optional, however, and it fell rapidly into disuse.
This year, a new nonprofit organization that seeks to return Catholic culture to its roots is accepting entries for a competition. The task: Set the Prayer to St. Michael to music.
The sponsor, Gift of Faith Foundation Inc., says it will award $5,000 to the winning entry and hopes to feature the five top finishers in a public concert later this year on the saint's feast, Sept. 29. For complete rules and information, visit www.giftoffaithfoundation.org.
Most Catholics should know the prayer by heart, For those who don't or are a bit rusty, here it is: "St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray; and do you, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the Power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who roam about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen."
Some words may vary, but the intent is the same: Keep the devil and his minions the hell out of our lives. It wouldn't make a bad addition to our daily morning routines.