FEASTS AND SAINTS CELEBRATED TODAY:
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael & the other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, & Barachiel
Σύναξις των Αρχαγγέλων Μιχαήλ και Γαβριήλ και των λοιπών Ασωμάτων και Ουράνιων Αγγελικών Ταγμάτων
READINGS FROM THE BIBLE:
The Reading is from Matthew 18:10-20
The Lord said, "See that you do not despise one of these little ones; for I tell you that in heaven their angels always behold the face of my Father who is in heaven. For the Son of man came to save the lost. What do you think? If a man has a hundred sheep, and one of them has gone astray, does he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go in search of the one that went astray? And if he finds it, truly, I say to you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones should perish.
"If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others along with you, that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven, for where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them."
Κατὰ Ματθαῖον 18.10-20
Εἶπεν ὁ Κύριος· ῾Ορᾶτε μὴ καταφρονήσητε ἑνὸς τῶν μικρῶν τούτων· λέγω γὰρ ὑμῖν ὅτι οἱ ἄγγελοι αὐτῶν ἐν οὐρανοῖς διὰ παντὸς βλέπουσι τὸ πρόσωπον τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς. ἦλθε γὰρ ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου σῶσαι τὸ ἀπολωλός. Τί ὑμῖν δοκεῖ; ἐὰν γένηταί τινι ἀνθρώπῳ ἑκατὸν πρόβατα καὶ πλανηθῇ ἓν ἐξ αὐτῶν, οὐχὶ ἀφεὶς τὰ ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα ἐπὶ τὰ ὄρη, πορευθεὶς ζητεῖ τὸ πλανώμενον; καὶ ἐὰν γένηται εὑρεῖν αὐτό, ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι χαίρει ἐπ᾿ αὐτῷ μᾶλλον ἢ ἐπὶ τοῖς ἐνενήκοντα ἐννέα τοῖς μὴ πεπλανημένοις. οὕτως οὐκ ἔστι θέλημα ἔμπροσθεν τοῦ πατρὸς ὑμῶν τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς ἵνα ἀπόληται εἷς τῶν μικρῶν τούτων.
᾿Εὰν δὲ ἁμαρτήσῃ εἰς σὲ ὁ ἀδελφός σου, ὕπαγε καὶ ἔλεγξον αὐτὸν μεταξὺ σοῦ καὶ αὐτοῦ μόνου· ἐάν σου ἀκούσῃ, ἐκέρδησας τὸν ἀδελφόν σου· ἐὰν δὲ μὴ ἀκούσῃ, παράλαβε μετὰ σοῦ ἔτι ἕνα ἢ δύο, ἵνα ἐπὶ στόματος δύο μαρτύρων ἢ τριῶν σταθῇ πᾶν ῥῆμα. ἐὰν δὲ παρακούσῃ αὐτῶν, εἰπὲ τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ· ἐὰν δὲ καὶ τῆς ἐκκλησίας παρακούσῃ, ἔστω σοι ὥσπερ ὁ ἐθνικὸς καὶ ὁ τελώνης. ᾿Αμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν, ὅσα ἐὰν δήσητε ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ἔσται δεδεμένα ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ, καὶ ὅσα ἐὰν λύσητε ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ἔσται λελυμένα ἐν τῷ οὐρανῷ. Πάλιν ἀμὴν λέγω ὑμῖν ὅτι ἐὰν δύο ὑμῶν συμφωνήσωσιν ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς περὶ παντὸς πράγματος οὗ ἐὰν αἰτήσωνται, γενήσεται αὐτοῖς παρὰ τοῦ πατρός μου τοῦ ἐν οὐρανοῖς. οὗ γάρ εἰσι δύο ἢ τρεῖς συνηγμένοι εἰς τὸ ἐμὸν ὄνομα, ἐκεῖ εἰμι ἐν μέσῳ αὐτῶν.
The Reading is from St. Paul's Letter to the Hebrews 2:2-10
BRETHREN, if the message declared by angels was valid and every transgression or disobedience received a just retribution, how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard him, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his own will. For it was not to angels that God subjected the world to come, of which we are speaking. It has been testified somewhere, "What is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou carest for him? Thou didst make him for a little while lower than the angels, thou hast crowned him with glory and honor, putting everything in subjection under his feet." Now in putting everything in subjection to him, he left nothing outside his control. As it is, we do not yet see everything in subjection to him. But we see Jesus, who for a little while was made lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honor because of the suffering of death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for every one. For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through suffering.
Πρὸς Ἑβραίους 2:2-10
Ἀδελφοί, εἰ ὁ δι΄ ἀγγέλων λαληθεὶς λόγος ἐγένετο βέβαιος, καὶ πᾶσα παράβασις καὶ παρακοὴ ἔλαβεν ἔνδικον μισθαποδοσίαν, πῶς ἡμεῖς ἐκφευξόμεθα τηλικαύτης ἀμελήσαντες σωτηρίας; Ἥτις, ἀρχὴν λαβοῦσα λαλεῖσθαι διὰ τοῦ κυρίου, ὑπὸ τῶν ἀκουσάντων εἰς ἡμᾶς ἐβεβαιώθη, συνεπιμαρτυροῦντος τοῦ θεοῦ σημείοις τε καὶ τέρασιν, καὶ ποικίλαις δυνάμεσιν, καὶ πνεύματος ἁγίου μερισμοῖς, κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ θέλησιν. Οὐ γὰρ ἀγγέλοις ὑπέταξεν τὴν οἰκουμένην τὴν μέλλουσαν, περὶ ἧς λαλοῦμεν. Διεμαρτύρατο δέ πού τις λέγων, Τί ἐστιν ἄνθρωπος, ὅτι μιμνήσκῃ αὐτοῦ; Ἢ υἱὸς ἀνθρώπου, ὅτι ἐπισκέπτῃ αὐτόν; Ἠλάττωσας αὐτὸν βραχύ τι παρʼ ἀγγέλους· δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ ἐστεφάνωσας αὐτόν· πάντα ὑπέταξας ὑποκάτω τῶν ποδῶν αὐτοῦ. Ἐν γὰρ τῷ ὑποτάξαι αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα, οὐδὲν ἀφῆκεν αὐτῷ ἀνυπότακτον. Νῦν δὲ οὔπω ὁρῶμεν αὐτῷ τὰ πάντα ὑποτεταγμένα. Τὸν δὲ βραχύ τι παρʼ ἀγγέλους ἠλαττωμένον βλέπομεν Ἰησοῦν, διὰ τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ ἐστεφανωμένον, ὅπως χάριτι θεοῦ ὑπὲρ παντὸς γεύσηται θανάτου. Ἔπρεπεν γὰρ αὐτῷ, διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα, καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα, πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα, τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν διὰ παθημάτων τελειῶσαι.
The Reading is from Luke 10:16-21
The Lord said to his disciples, "He who hears you hears me, and he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me." The seventy returned with joy, saying, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name! " And he said to them, "I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you; but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. " In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to babes; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will."
Κατὰ Λουκᾶν 10.16-21
Εἶπεν ὁ Κὐριος τοῖς ἑαυτοῦ μαθηταῖς· ῾Ο ἀκούων ὑμῶν ἐμοῦ ἀκούει, καὶ ὁ ἀθετῶν ὑμᾶς ἐμὲ ἀθετεῖ· ὁ δὲ ἐμὲ ἀθετῶν ἀθετεῖ τὸν ἀποστείλαντά με. ῾Υπέστρεψαν δὲ οἱ ἑβδομήκοντα μετὰ χαρᾶς λέγοντες· Κύριε, καὶ τὰ δαιμόνια ὑποτάσσεται ἡμῖν ἐν τῷ ὀνόματί σου. Εἶπε δὲ αὐτοῖς· ἐθεώρουν τὸν σατανᾶν ὡς ἀστραπὴν ἐκ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ πεσόντα. ἰδοὺ δίδωμι ὑμῖν τὴν ἐξουσίαν τοῦ πατεῖν ἐπάνω ὄφεων καὶ σκορπίων καὶ ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ ἐχθροῦ, καὶ οὐδὲν ὑμᾶς οὐ μὴ ἀδικήσῃ. πλὴν ἐν τούτῳ μὴ χαίρετε, ὅτι τὰ πνεύματα ὑμῖν ὑποτάσσεται· χαίρετε δὲ ὅτι τὰ ὀνόματα ὑμῶν ἐγράφη ἐν τοῖς οὐρανοῖς. ᾿Εν αὐτῇ τῇ ὥρᾳ ἠγαλλιάσατο τῷ πνεύματι ὁ ᾿Ιησοῦς καὶ εἶπεν· ἐξομολογοῦμαί σοι, πάτερ, κύριε τοῦ οὐρανοῦ καὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅτι ἀπέκρυψας ταῦτα ἀπὸ σοφῶν καὶ συνετῶν, καὶ ἀπεκάλυψας αὐτὰ νηπίοις· ναί, ὁ πατήρ, ὅτι οὕτως ἐγένετο εὐδοκία ἔμπροσθέν σου.
READINGS FROM THE SYNAXARION:
Τῇ Η' τοῦ αὐτοῦ μηνός, ἡ Σύναξις τῶν Ἀρχιστρατήγων Μιχαὴλ λοιπῶν καὶ Γαβριήλ, καί των ἁγίων ἀσωμάτων καὶ οὐρανίων Ταγμάτων.
Ἐβουλόμην σοι, Μιχαήλ, ᾄσμα πρέπον
ᾎσαι πρεπόντως, ἀλλ' ἄϋλον, οὐκ ἔχω.
Ὀγδόη οὐρανίης κυδαίνει τάξιος Ἀρχούς.
Εἰς τὴν Σύναξιν τῶν ἐννέα Ταγμάτων, Σεραφίμ, Χερουβίμ, Θρόνων, Κυριοτήτων, Ἐξουσιῶν, Ἀρχῶν, Δυνάμεων, Ἀρχαγγέλων καὶ Ἀγγέλων.
Ἐπάξιόν τι Ταγμάτων τῶν ἐννέα
Τὶς ἂν γόνος φθέγξαιτο μηνῶν ἐννέα;
Ταῖς τῶν Ἁγίων σου πρεσβείαις, ὁ Θεὸς ἐλέησον ἡμᾶς. Ἀμήν.
All the Angels, according to the Apostle Paul, are ministering spirits, - sent forth to minister to them who shall be heirs of salvation - (Heb. 1:14). God set them as overseers of every nation and people, and guides to that which is profitable (Deut. 32:8); and while one Angel is appointed to oversee each nation as a whole, one is also appointed to protect each Christian individually. He commands them to guard them that hope on Him, that nothing should harm them, neither should any evil draw nigh to their dwelling (Ps. 90:10-12). In the Heavens they always behold the face of God, sending up to Him the thrice-holy hymn and interceding with Him in our behalf, seeing they rejoice over one sinner that repents (Esaias 6:2-3; Matt. 18:10; Luke 15:7). In a word, they have served God in so many ways for our benefit, that the pages of Holy Scripture are filled with the histories thereof. It is for these reasons that the Orthodox Catholic Church, wisely honouring these divine ministers, our protectors and guardians, celebrates today the present Synaxis that is, our coming together in assembly for their common feast to chant their praises, especially for the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, who are mentioned in the Scriptures by name. The name Michael means "Who is like God?" and Gabriel means "God is mighty." The number of Angels is not defined in the divine Scriptures, where Daniel says that thousands of thousands ministered before Him, and ten thousands of ten thousands attended upon Him -(Dan. 7:10). But all of them are divided into nine orders which are called Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
Τῶν οὐρανίων στρατιὼν Ἀρχιστράτηγε, δυσωπούμέν σε ἀεὶ ἡμεῖς οἱ ἀνάξιοι, ἵνα ταὶς σαὶς δεήσεσι τειχίσης ἡμᾶς, σκέπη τῶν πτερύγων τῆς ἀϋλου σου δόξης, φρουρῶν ἡμᾶς προσπίπτοντας ἐκτενῶς καὶ βοῶντας, ἐκ τῶν κινδύνων λύτρωσαι ἡμᾶς, ὡς Ταξιάρχης τῶν ἄνω δυνάμεων.
Supreme Commanders of the Hosts of Heavens, we, the unworthy, importune and beseech thee that by thy supplications thou encircle us in the shelter of the wings of thine immaterial glory, guarding us who now fall down and cry to thee with fervour: Deliver us from dangers of all kinds, as the great marshal of the heavenly hosts on high.
Kontakion in the Second Tone
Αρχιστράτηγοι Θεού, λειτουργοί θείας δόξης, τών ανθρώπων οδηγοί, καί άρχηγοι Ασωμάτωv, τό συμφέροv ημίv αιτήσασθε, καί τό μέγα έλεος, ως τώv Ασωμάτων Αρχιστράτηγοι.
Chief Commanders of God; ministers of divine glory; guides for men and leadership of the Incorporeal; as Chief Commanders of the Incorporeal, plead for our welfare and for great mercy.
Σήμερα η Εκκλησία τελεί σύναξη "εις τιμήν και μνήμην των Αρχαγγέλων Μιχαήλ και Γαβριήλ και των λοιπών ασωμάτων και ουρανίων Δυνάμεων". Ανάμεσα στο Θεό και στον άνθρωπο είναι οι άγγελοι, που δημιουργήθηκαν από τον Θεό πριν από τον κόσμο και τον άνθρωπο, καθώς λέει η θεία Γραφή· "ότε εγενήθησαν άστρα, ήνεσάν με εν γφωνή μεγάλη πάντες άγγελοί μου". Το έργο των αγίων Αγγέλων είναι να υπηρετούν στη σωτηρία των ανθρώπων, όπως πάλι μας το λέει η θεία Γραφή· "πάντε εισί λειτουργικά πνεύματα εις διακονίαν αποστελλόμενα δια τους μέλλοντας κληρονομείν σωτηρίαν". Στην Αγία Γραφή βλέπομε τρεις αρχαγγέλους με τα ονόματά τους, τον Μιχαήλ, τον Γαβριήλ και τον Ραφαήλ, που εκτελούν διακονία για τη σωτηρία των ανθρώπων. Κάθε άνθρωπος - κάθε ευσεβής άνθρωπος - έχει τον Άγγελό του, "Άγγελον ειρήνης, πιστόν οδηγόν, φύλακα..." της ζωής και της ψυχής του, που τον φυλάγει και τον προστατεύει από κάθε κακό.
Synaxis of the Chief Captains of the Heavenly Host, Michael and Gabriel, and of the other Bodiless Powers of Heaven
The holy Scriptures, from beginning to end, are filled with mentions and descriptions of the Heavenly Host: not to believe in angels is not to believe in the Bible. In the heavens they behold the face of God, eternally hymning His glory. They are intimately involved with mankind as well: an angel is appointed guardian over every nation, and over every individual Christian. The Archangels Michael and Gabriel, whom we especially commemorate today along with all the other bodiless powers, have served as messengers to man. "Michael" means "Who is like God?";"Gabriel" means "God is mighty." Gabriel especially was appointed to announce the coming of Christ in the flesh.
There is no reckoning the number of the Heavenly Host, though we know that they are a great multitude. They are ranked in nine orders, called Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, Dominions, Powers, Authorities, Principalities, Archangels and Angels. "Angel" means "herald" or "messenger" and is properly applied only to those who serve as messengers from God to man; but the name is often applied to the entire host of bodiless powers.
Though bodiless, the angels are finite in knowledge, extension and power. The angel Lucifer, once the highest of them all, desired to be like God Himself, and was cast forever from the presence of God, along with countless others who followed him. These we now know as Satan and the demons. (Needless to say, they are not commemorated today).
The Apostle Paul says that Angels are: spirits in the service of God, sent as servants for the good of those who must receive the heritage of salvation." God has established them as protectors and guides of every nation and people. He charged them to guard those who hope in Him so that nothing harms them and no evil comes near their dwelling. In heaven, they continually see the face of God, sing the Thrice-holy Hymn, intercede for us, and rejoice over a single sinner who is converted. In a word, in serving God, the angels have rendered us so many services that the pages of Holy Scripture are filled with them.
This is why the Church, honoring these divine ministers, our intercessors and guardians, today celebrates this synaxis (a coming together to celebrate a feast). The Church recalls in particular the names of Saints Michael and Gabriel because they are related to us by Holy Scripture. The word "Michael" signifies "Who is like God?", and the word "Gabriel," "God is powerful." According to Holy Scripture, the number of angels is infinite, as Daniel saw "thousands upon thousands serve God, and myriads upon myriads stand before Him" (Daniel 7:10). They are divided into nine choirs which are: the Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominations, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
Ἡ Σύναξη (Πανήγυρις) τῶν Ἀρχαγγέλων Μιχαὴλ καὶ Γαβριήλ καὶ τῶν λοιπῶν Ἀσωμάτων καὶ Οὐρανίων ἀγγελικῶν Ταγμάτων
Κατὰ τὴν Ἅγια Γραφὴ οἱ ἄγγελοι στέλνονται ἀπὸ τὸ Θεὸ μὲ μορφὴ ὁρατὴ (οἱ ἄγγελοι εἶναι ἀόρατα ἀγαθὰ πνεύματα κοντὰ στὸ Θεό) σὲ σπουδαῖες ἱστορικὲς περιστάσεις, ποὺ πρόκειται νὰ ἐκδηλωθεῖ ἢ νὰ ἐκτελεσθεῖ κάποια μεγάλη θεία θέληση. Τὴ σχέση, τώρα, ποὺ ἔχουν οἱ ἄγγελοι μὲ τὸ Θεὸ καὶ τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, καθὼς καὶ τὴν ἀποστολή τους, βλέπουμε ἐπίσης μέσα στὴν Ἁγία Γραφή. Καὶ ἰδιαίτερα, ἀγαπητὲ ἀναγνώστη, ἂν διαβάσεις τοὺς Ψαλμοὺς 33, στίχ. 8 καὶ 90, στίχ. 10-12, στὴν δὲ Καινὴ Διαθήκη (Ματθ. ιη´ 10), καθὼς ἐπίσης καὶ στὴν πρὸς Ἑβραίους ἐπιστολή, κεφ. α´ στίχ. 14, ὅπου ὁ συγγραφέας ἀναφωνεῖ: «οὐχὶ πάντες εἰσὶ λειτουργικὰ πνεύματα εἰς διακονίαν ἀποστελλόμενα διὰ τοὺς μέλλοντας κληρονομεῖν σωτηρίαν;». Δηλαδή, δὲν εἶναι ὅλοι οἱ ἄγγελοι πνεύματα ὑπηρετικά, τὰ ὁποῖα ἐνεργοῦν ὄχι ἀπὸ δική τους πρωτοβουλία, ἀλλ᾿ ἀποστέλλονται ἀπὸ τὸ Θεὸ γιὰ νὰ ὑπηρετήσουν ἐκείνους ποῦ μέλλουν νὰ κληρονομήσουν τὴν αἰώνια ζωή; Ἐπικεφαλῆς δὲ τῶν ἀγγελικῶν δυνάμεων εἶναι οἱ ἀρχάγγελοι Μιχαὴλ καὶ Γαβριήλ. Τὸν Μιχαὴλ συναντᾶμε στὴν Παλαιὰ Διαθήκη. Π.χ. ὅταν ὁ Ἀβραὰμ μέλλει νὰ θυσιάσει τὸν Ἰσαάκ, στὸν Ἰησοῦ τοῦ Ναυῆ, στὸν Ἠλία καὶ ἄλλου. Τὸν Γαβριὴλ συναντᾶμε στὴν Καινὴ Διαθήκη, ὅπως στὸν Εὐαγγελισμὸ τῆς Θεοτόκου καὶ ἄλλου. Στὴν μνήμη, λοιπόν, τῶν ἀποστολῶν καὶ τοῦ ἔργου ποὺ ἐπιτελοῦν οἱ ἄγγελοι, ἡ Ἐκκλησία μας ὅρισε τὴν γιορτὴ τῆς 8ης Νοεμβρίου.
The Celebration of the Sobor (Assemblage) of the Leader of the Heavenly Hosts Michael, and the Other Heavenly Bodiless Hosts was established at the beginning of the IV Century at the local Laodician Council, which occurred several years before the First OEcumenical Council. The Laodician Council by its 35th Canon condemned and renounced as heretical the worship of angels as creators and rulers of the world and it affirmed their proper Orthodox veneration. A feastday was established in November -- the ninth month from March (with which month the year began in ancient times) -- in accordance with the 9 Ranks of Angels. The eighth day of the month was decreed for the intended Sobor (Assemblage) of all the Heavenly Powers -- in conjunction with the Day of the Dread Last-Judgement of God, which the holy fathers called the "Eighth Day", -- since after this age in which the seven days [of Creation] have elapsed will come the "Eighth Day", -- and then "shalt come the Son of Man in His Glory and all the holy Angels together with Him" (Mt. 25: 31).
The Angelic Ranks are divided into three Hierarchies: -- highest, middle, and lowest. In the Highest Hierarchy are included the three Ranks: the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. Closest of all to the MostHoly Trinity stand the six-winged Seraphim [Seraphimy] (Flaming, and Fiery) (Is. 6: 12). They blaze with love for God and impel others to it.
After the Seraphim there stand before the Lord the many-eyed Cherubim [Cheruvimy] (Gen. 3: 24). Their name means: outpouring of wisdom, enlightenment, since through them, -- radiating with the light of Divine-knowledge and understanding of the mysteries of God, there is sent down wisdom and enlightenment for true Divine-knowledge.
After the Cherubim -- stand God-bearing through grace given them for their service, the Thrones [Prestoly] (Col. 1: 16), mysteriously and incomprehensibly upholding God. They serve the uprightness of God's justice.
The Middle Angelic Hierarchy consists of three Ranks: Dominions, Powers, and Authorities.
Dominions [Gospodstva] (Col. 1: 16) hold dominion over the successive ranks of Angels. They instruct the earthly authorities, established from God, to wise governance. The Dominions influence rule by miracles, they quell sinful impulses, subordinate the flesh to the spirit, and provide mastery over the will to conquer temptation.
Powers [Sily] (1 Pet. 3: 22) fulfill the will of God. They work the miracles and send down the grace of wonderworking and perspicacity to saints pleasing to God. The Powers give assist to people in bearing obediences, encourage them in patience, and give them spiritual strength and fortitude.
Authorities [Vlasti] (1 Pet. 3: 22, Col. 1: 16) have authority to quell the power of the devil. They repel from people demonic temptations, uphold ascetics and guard them, helping people in the struggle with evil ponderings.
In the Lowest Hierarchy are included the three Ranks: Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.
Principalities [Nachala] (Col. 1: 16) have command over the lower angels, instructing them in the fulfilling of Divine commands. To them are entrusted to direct the universe, and protect lands, nations and peoples. Principalities instruct people to render honour to everyone, as becomes their station. They teach those in authority to fulfill their necessary obligations, not for personal glory and gain, but out of respect for God and benefit for neighbour.
Archangels [Arkhangely] (1 Thess. 4: 16) announce about the great and most holy, they reveal the mysteries of the faith, prophecy and understanding of the will of God, they intensify deep faith in people, enlightening their minds with the light of the Holy Gospel.
Angels [Angely] (1 Pet. 3: 22)are closest to all to people. They proclaim the intent of God, guiding people to virtuous and holy life. They protect believers restraining them from falling, and they raise up the fallen; never do they abandon us and always they are prepared to help us, if we so desire.
All the Ranks of the Heavenly Powers have in common the name Angels -- by virtue of their service. The Lord reveals His will to the highest of the Angels, and they in turn inform the others.
Over all the Nine Ranks, the Lord put the Holy Leader ("Archistrategos") Michael (his name in translation from the Hebrew means -- "who is like unto God") -- a faithful servitor of God, wherein he hurled down from Heaven the arrogantly proud day-star Lucifer together with the other fallen spirits. And to the remaining Angelic powers he cried out: "Let us attend! Let us stand aright before our Creator and not ponder that which is displeasing unto God!" According to Church tradition, in the church service to the Archistrategos Michael concerning him, he participated in many other Old Testament events. During the time of the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt he went before them in the form of a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. Through him the power of the Lord was made manifest, annihilating the Egyptians and Pharaoh who were in pursuit of the Israelites. The Archangel Michael defended Israel in all its misfortunes.
He appeared to Jesus Son of Navin (Joshua) and revealed the will of the Lord at the taking of Jericho (Nav. / Josh. 5: 13-16). The power of the great Archistrategos of God was manifest in the annihilation of the 185 thousand soldiers of the Assyrian emperor Sennacherib (4  Kings 19: 35); also in the smiting of the impious leader Antiochos Illiodoros; and in the protecting from fire of the Three Holy Youths -- Ananias, Azarias and Misail, thrown into the fiery furnace for their refusal to worship an idol (Dan. 3: 22-25).
Through the will of God, the Archistrategos Michael transported the Prophet Avvakum (Habbakuk) from Judea to Babylon, so as to give food to Daniel, locked up in a lions' den (Kondak of Akathist, 8).
The Archangel Michael prevented the devil from displaying the body of the holy Prophet Moses to the Jews for idolisation (Jude 1: 9).
The holy Archangel Michael showed his power when he miraculously saved a lad, cast by robbers into the sea with a stone about his neck at the shores of Athos (Athos Paterikon).
From ancient times the Archangel Michael was famed by his miracles in Rus'. In the Volokolamsk Paterikon there is included a narrative of the Monk Paphnutii of Borovsk with an account of Tatar "baskaki" (tax-gatherers) concerning the miraculous saving of Novgorod the Great: "And wherefore Great Novgorod never was taken by the Hagarites... when by the sufferance of God for our sins the godless Hagarite emperor Batu devoured and set aflame the Russian land and was come to the New City (i.e. Novgorod) and God and the MostHoly Mother of God shielded it with an appearance of Michael the Archistrategos, which did forbid him to enter into it. He [Batu] was come to the Lithuanian city and did come towards Kiev and did see the stone church over the doors of which the great Archangel Michael had written and spoken unto the prince his allotted fate: 'By this we have forbidden entry into Great Novgorod'".
Intercession for Russian cities by the MostHoly Queen of Heaven always involved Her appearances with the Heavenly Hosts, under the leadership of the Archistategos. Grateful Rus' acclaimed the MostPure Mother of God and the Archangel Michael in church singing. To the Archistrategos Michael are dedicated many a monastery, cathedrals, court and merchant churches. In old Kiev at the time of the accepting of Christianity, there was erected a cathedral of the Archangel, and a monastery also was built in his name. Archangel cathedrals stand at Smolensk, Nizhni Novgorod, Staritsa, a monastery at Great Ustiug (beginning XIII Century), and a cathedral at Sviyazhsk. In Rus' there was not a city, wherein was not a church or chapel, dedicated to the Archangel Michael. One of the chief temples of the city of Moscow -- the burial church in the Kremlin -- is dedicated to him. Numerous and beautiful icons of the Chief-in-Rank of the Highest Powers are also in his Cathedral. One of these -- the Icon "Blest Soldiery" --written in the Uspenie (Dormition) Cathedral of the Moscow Kremlin, where the saintly soldiers -- Russian princes -- are depicted under the leadership of the Archistrategos Michael.
From Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition are likewise known the Archangels: Gabriel -- strength (power) of God, herald and servitor of Divine almightiness (Dan. 8: 16, Lk. 1: 26); Raphael -- the healing of God, the curer of human infirmities (Tobit 3: 16, 12: 15); Uriel -- the fire or light of God, enlightener (3 Ezdras 5: 20); Selaphiel -- the prayer of God, impelling to prayer (3 Ezdras 5: 16); Jehudiel -- the glorifying of God, encouraging exertion for the glory of the Lord and interceding about the reward of efforts; Barachiel -- distributor of the blessing of God for good deeds, entreating the mercy of God for people; Jeremiel -- the raising up to God (3 Ezdras 4:36).
On icons the Archangels are depicted in accord with the trait of their service:
Michael -- tramples the devil underfoot, and in his left hand holds a green date-tree branch, and in his right hand -- a spear with a white banner (or sometimes a fiery sword), on which is outlined a scarlet cross.
Gabriel -- with a branch from paradise, presented by him to the MostHoly Virgin, or with a shining lantern in his right hand and with a mirror made of jasper -- in his left.
Raphael -- holds a vessel with healing medications in his left hand, and with his right hand leads Tobias, carrying the fish [for healing -- Tobit 5-8].
Uriel -- in raised right hand hold a bare sword at the level of his chest, and in his lowered left hand -- "a fiery flame".
Selaphiel -- in a prayerful posture, gazing downwards, hands folded to the chest.
Jehudiel -- in his right hand holds a golden crown, in his left -- a whip of three red (or black) branches.
Barachiel -- on his garb are a multitude of rose blossoms.
Jeremiel -- holds in his hand balance-scales.
Αγία Όλγα της Αλάσκας, η Μαία - Η Matushka (Μητερούλα) Όλγα, γηγενής στην Αλάσκα από τη φυλή Yupik, γεννήθηκε στις 3 Φεβρουαρίου 1916 μ.Χ. Ο σύζυγός της, ο Νικολάι Μιχαήλ, ήταν ο ταχυδρόμος στο χωριό και διευθυντής του γενικού καταστήματος, ο οποίος αργότερα χειροτονήθηκε ιερέας και στη συνέχεια αρχιερέας. Έχει υπηρετήσει την κοινότητα της ως σύζυγος ιερέα, αλλά και ως μαία.
Η Matushka Όλγα γέννησε δικά της δεκατρία παιδιά, πολλές φορές χωρίς τη βοήθεια μαίας ή δικών της ανθρώπων, από τα οποία επέζησαν τα 8.
Ήταν γνωστή για τη συμπάθεια και τη φροντίδα της προς όσους είχαν υποστεί κακοποίηση παντός είδους, ιδίως σεξουαλική κακοποίηση. Ενώ η οικογένειά της ήταν φτωχή, έδωσε απλόχερα σε αυτούς που ζούσαν χειρότερα από αυτήν, συχνά έδινε και από τα ρούχα των παιδιών της στους απόρους. Ήταν επίσης γνωστή η ικανότητά της να πει πότε μια γυναίκα ήταν έγκυος, ακόμη και πριν από την ίδια τη γυναίκα που είχε χάσει την περίοδό της.
Η Matushka Όλγα αναπαύτηκε στις 8 Νοεμβρίου του 1979 μ.Χ. Πολλοί άνθρωποι από τις γύρω περιοχές ήθελαν να έρθουν στην κηδεία της, αλλά επειδή ήταν Νοέμβριος, λόγω κακοκαιρίας, φαινόταν αδύνατον. Αλλά από την ημέρα της κηδείας της, ένας άνεμος από το νότο έφερε ζεστό καιρό, απόψυξε τον πάγο και το χιόνι και έκανε το ταξίδι για το Kwethluk εφικτό. Όταν οι πενθούντες αποχώρησαν από την εκκλησία για να πάρουν το σώμα στο νεκροταφείο, ένα σμήνος πουλιών ακολούθησε. Εκείνοι που έσκαψαν τον τάφο της διαπίστωσαν ότι το έδαφος, επίσης, είχαν αποψυχθεί. Το βράδυ, μετά την κηδεία της, ο κανονικός σκληρός χειμώνας επέστρεψε.
THE PROLOGUE FROM ORCHID:
1. The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of heaven
The angels of God were celebrated by men from earliest times but this celebration was often turned into the divinization of angels (II Kings 23:5). The heretics wove all sorts of fables concerning the angels. Some of them looked upon angels as gods; others, although they did not consider them gods, called them the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council of Laodicea (four or five years before the First Ecumenical Council) rejected the worship of angels as gods and established the proper veneration of angels in its Thirty-fifth Canon. In the fourth century, during the time of Sylvester, Pope of Rome, and Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, the present Feast of Archangel Michael and all the other heavenly powers was instituted for celebration in the month of November. Why precisely in November? Because November is the ninth month after March, and March is considered to be the month in which the world was created. Also, as the ninth month after March, November was chosen for the nine orders of angels who were created first. St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul (who was taken up into the third heaven), described these nine orders of angels in his book, On the Celestial Hierarchies, as follows: six-winged Seraphim, many-eyed Cherubim, God-bearing Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The leader of all the angelic hosts is the Archangel Michael. When Satan, Lucifer, fell away from God and drew a part of the angels with him to destruction, then Michael stood up and cried out before the faithful angels: ``Let us attend! Let us stand aright! Let us stand with fear!'' and all of the faithful angelic heavenly hosts cried out: ``Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of Sabaoth! Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!'' Concerning the Archangel Michael, see Joshua 5:13-15 and Jude 1:9. Among the angels there reign perfect oneness of mind, oneness of soul, and love. The lower orders also show complete obedience to the higher orders, and all of them together to the holy will of God. Every nation has its guardian angel, as does every Christian. We must always remember that whatever we do, in open or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel. On the day of the Dread Judgment, the multitude of the hosts of the holy angels of heaven will gather around the throne of Christ, and the deeds, words, and thoughts of every man will be revealed before all. May God have mercy on us and save us by the prayers of the Archangel Michael and all the bodiless heavenly powers. Amen.
HYMN OF PRAISE
The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven
Who watch over us with great care,
Cover us with your wings,
And shield us with your power.
Armed with the power of God,
Crowned by His glory,
You wield flaming swords,
To cut the demons down.
Swift, swift as rays of light
You soar on the clouds-
The clouds of the air-
Where you do battle for God.
Without fatigue and without sleep
You hover ceaselessly
Over men and created things,
And over countless worlds.
Behold, yours are mighty armies,
And gentle battalions of angels:
And, according to the Creator, our brothers.
Commanders of the might of heaven,
Lead us where we need to go-
To the throne of the Most High
Who created us from nothing.
Holy Scripture clearly and irrefutably witnesses that angels ceaselessly communicate with this world. The Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition of the Orthodox Church teaches us the names of the seven leaders of the angelic powers: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salathiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel (an eighth, Jeremiel, is sometimes included).
``Michael'' in the Hebrew language means ``Who is like unto God?'' or ``Who is equal to God?'' St. Michael has been depicted from earliest Christian times as a commander, who holds in his right hand a spear with which he attacks Lucifer, Satan, and in his left hand a green palm branch. At the top of the spear there is a linen ribbon with a red cross. The Archangel Michael is especially considered to be the Guardian of the Orthodox Faith and a fighter against heresies.
``Gabriel'' means ``Man of God'' or ``Might of God.'' He is the herald of the mysteries of God, especially the Incarnation of God and all other mysteries related to it. He is depicted as follows: In his right hand, he holds a lantern with a lighted taper inside, and in his left hand, a mirror of green jasper. The mirror signifies the wisdom of God as a hidden mystery.
``Raphael'' means ``God's healing'' or ``God the Healer.'' (Tobit 3:17, 12:15). Raphael is depicted leading Tobit (who is carrying a fish caught in the Tigris) with his right hand, and holding a physician's alabaster jar in his left hand.
``Uriel'' means ``Fire of God,'' or ``Light of God'' (III Esdras 3:1, 5:20). He is depicted holding a sword against the Persians in his right hand, and a fiery flame in his left.
``Salathiel'' means ``Intercessor of God'' (III Esdras 5:16). He is depicted with his face and eyes lowered, holding his hands on his bosom in prayer.
``Jegudiel'' means ``Glorifier of God.'' He is depicted bearing a golden wreath in his right hand and a triple-thonged whip in his left hand.
``Barachiel'' means ``Blessing of God.'' He is depicted holding a white rose in his hand against his breast.
``Jeremiel'' means ``God's exaltation.'' He is venerated as an inspirer and awakener of exalted thoughts that raise a man toward God (III Ezra 4:36).
on how Christ brings to life men who are dead in sin
Even when we were dead in sins, [God] hath quickened us together with Christ (Ephesians 2:5).
God first brought Christ to life: He first raised Him as a man from the grave. And Christ is our Head. Thus, in order to resurrect the whole generation of the faithful, it was necessary to resurrect the Head first. When the Head resurrected, then the resurrection of the whole body, with all its members, was assured. Therefore, the Apostle Paul speaks of our resurrection and glorification as a completed thing. So it is that God resurrected us also with Christ: And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6). God resurrected us-together with Christ as man-who once were dead in sins, slain by our sins. He not only makes us worthy of resurrection with the Lord Jesus Christ, but He also puts us on the same level with the resurrected Christ in the heights of heaven, above the whole realm of incorporeal spirits. Brethren, God did not come to earth for the sake of some petty, inconsequential thing, but for something completely unique, something greater than great. When an earthly king visits a place in his country, the benefit of his visit is felt long after. The Lord, the King, visited mankind on the earth and the benefit of that visit will be felt to the end of time. That visit means life instead of death for us, glory instead of shame, closeness to God instead of estrangement, and blessing instead of a curse. In other words, that visit means our resurrection from the dead, and our eternal reign in the heavens with Christ.
O Lord, thanks be to Thee; O Lord, glory be to Thee.
To Thee be glory and praise forever. Amen.