The Archangels and the Other Bodiless Powers of Heaven

Feast Day: November 8th


The Orders of the Angels

About the Angels: The Angelic Ranks are divided into three Hierarchies. Each Heavenly Power is an Angel, but they have their own name and position according to the virtue of their service to God. God reveals His Divine Will to the Highest Ranks of the Angels who in turn inform the other Angels of the lower ranks. The Highest Hierarchy includes the Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. The Middle Hierarchy are the Dominions, Powers and Authorities. The Lowest Hierarchy consist of the Principalities, Archangels and Angels…

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Prayers

Apolytikion: Let us praise Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Powers, Authorities and Principalities, Dominions, Archangels and Angels, for they are the Bodiless Ministers of the Un-originate Trinity, and revealers of Incomprehensible Mysteries. Glory to Him Who has given you being; Glory to Him Who has given you Light; glory to Him Who is praised by you in Thrice-Holy hymns.

Troparion: Commanders of the Heavenly Hosts, we who are unworthy beseech you, by your Prayers encompass us beneath the wings of your Immaterial Glory, and faithfully preserve us who fall down and cry to you: “Deliver us from all harm, for you are the Commanders of the Powers on High!”

Kontakion: Chief Commanders of God’s Armies and Ministers of the Divine Glory, Princes of the Bodiless Angels and Guides of Men, ask what is good for us and Great Mercy, as Chief Commanders of the Bodiless Powers.

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Oikos: You said in the Scriptures, Immortal Lover of humanity, that in Heaven multitudes of Angels rejoice over one human being who repents. Therefore, O Sinless One, Who alone know the heart, we in our lawlessness dare each day to implore You, the Compassionate, to take pity on us, Master, and send us compunction, though we are unworthy, and pardon our sins, at the intercession for us all, of the Chief Captains of the Bodiless Hosts.


The Seraphim

Isaiah 6: 2

And the Seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings.

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The Seraphim stand closest to the Holy Trinity. They are ablaze with love for God and kindle others to such love. The Seraphim are six-winged and their name means Flaming.


The Cherubim

Genesis 3: 24

He placed Cherubim at the East of the Garden of Eden.

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The Cherubim are many-eyed and are radiant with the Light and Knowledge of God and His Mysteries. Their name means Great Understanding and this knowledge is sent down to us people through them, so we are enlightened to know God and behold His Glory with our Spiritual eyes.


The Thrones

Psalm 9: 4

Thou hast sat upon a throne, O Thou that judgest righteousness.

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The Thrones are God-bearing according to Grace, for they Mystically bear God in themselves as He resides on them. The Thrones Glorify and are ministers of God’s Justice and Righteous Judgement, and through them this is passed to the thrones of the Earthly judges, to help rulers exercise right judgement.


The Dominions

Colossians 1: 16

For by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on Earth, visible and invisible, whether Thrones or Dominions or Principalities or Powers.

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The Dominions serve God with joy and hold dominion over the Angels who follow them. They send down on Earth power for wisdom to govern well, and the Dominions teach us to subdue our senses and sinful impulses and to subject our flesh to the spirit.


The Powers

1 Peter 3: 22

Who has gone into Heaven and is at the right hand of God, Angels and Authorities and Powers having been made subject to Him.

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The Powers give the Grace of Wonderworking to Holy men and women living close to God. They encourage Spiritual strength to us all who struggle to live God’s Will and to fight against the passions and conquer everything evil. The Powers also assist us in patience and fulfilling obedience.


The Authorities

1 Peter 3: 22

Who has gone into Heaven and is at the right hand of God, Angels and Authorities and Powers having been made subject to Him.

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The Authorities have authority over the devil. They protect people from demonic temptations and prevent demons from harming people as much as they would like to. The Authorities also help Ascetics and righteous people in struggling against evil thoughts.


The Principalities

Colossians 1: 16

For by Him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are on Earth, visible and invisible, whether Thrones or Dominions or Principalities or Powers.

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The Principalities protect nations and people, and they instruct the Angels lower in rank than them in fulfilling God’s Commands. They teach those in authority on Earth to Honour God and spread His Glory through the position of their authority.


The Archangels

1 Thessalonians 4: 16

For the Lord Himself will descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of an Archangel, and with the trumpet of God.

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The Archangels are messengers of Divine and Glorious news, through which they reveal the Mysteries of God and His Will to people. The Archangels enlighten the people with the Light of the Holy Gospel and spread faith in God.

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Archangel Michael tramples the devil underfoot, and calls us all to stand well and with God.

His name means: Who is like unto God?

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Archangel Gabriel announces with radiant joy the Mysteries of God and His Will.

His name means: The Powerful or Strong Man of God.

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Archangel Raphael leads us to healing to cure our human infirmities.

His name means: The Healing of God.

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Archangel Uriel enlightens those with darkened minds to come to the Knowledge of God.

His name means: The Light or Fire of God.

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Archangel Selaphiel Prays to God for us and encourages us in our Prayer.

His name means: The Prayer of God.

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Archangel Jehudiel encourages people to struggle for the Glory of God and he intercedes for the reward of our efforts.

His name means: The Glory, Laudation or Praise of God.

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Archangel Barachiel distributes to us the Blessings of God and entreats God’s Mercy for us.

His name means: The Benediction or Blessings of God.

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Archangel Jeremiel encourages us to be Holy and raises us up to God.

His name means: The Compassion, Exaltation or Mercy of God.


The Angels

Psalm 91: 11

For He shall give His Angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways.

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The Angels, being the lowest of the Heavenly Ranks of Angels, are the clostst to people and they guide and support us to live a Holy life. The Angels reveal the Will of God and His Mysteries to us. They are always beside us ready to help us, they guard and guide us.

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Guardian Angel

At our Baptism, we receive our own Guardian Angel, who remains always with us our whole life as the protector of our body and Soul. Our Guardian Angel encourages us in Prayer and every good deed, and helps us fight away evil. Also, each Nation and each consecrated Church has its own Guardian Angel from God.


There were originally 10 Ranks of Holy Angels, Lucifer being the leader of one of those. Monastics now take the place of the 10th Rank of Angels, for they live like Angels in the flesh, because of their way of life and closeness to God.


The Divine Liturgy and the Holy Angels

The Cherubic Hymn: As an offertory hymn sung during the transfer of the Bread and Wine to the Altar, the Cherubic Hymn invokes the Eternal Liturgy of the Angels who encircle the Throne of God…

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“Let us who Mystically represent the Cherubim and who sing the Thrice Holy Hymn to the Life-Giving Trinity, now lay aside all Earthly cares that we may receive the King of All. Invisibly escorted by the Angelic Orders, Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia.”


Saint Iakovos Tsalikis could see the presence of the Angels.

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Saint Moses the Ethiopian received courage from the Angels

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It happened that Abba Moses was struggling with the temptation of fornication. Unable to stay any longer in the Cell, he went and told Abba Isidore. The old man exhorted him to return to his Cell. But he refused, saying, ‘Abba, I cannot.’ Then Abba Isidore took Moses out onto the terrace and said to him, ‘Look towards the West.’ He looked and saw hordes of demons flying about and making a noise before launching an attack. Then Abba Isidore said to him, ‘Look towards the East.’ He turned and saw an innumerable multitude of Holy Angels shining with Glory. Abba Isidore said, ‘See, these are sent by the Lord to the Saints to bring them help, while those in the West fight against them. Those who are with us are more in number than they are.’ Then Abba Moses gave thanks to God, plucked up courage, and returned to his cell.