The Holy Archangel Michael
and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven
November 21 (November 8 old calendar)
The Angels of God have been commemorated by men from the earliest times, but this commemoration often degenerates into the divinization of angels (IV Kings 23:5; A.V. II Kings). Heretics always wove fantasies round the angels. Some of them saw the angels as gods and others, if they did not so regard them, took them to be the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council in Laodicea, that was held in the fourth century, rejected in its 35th Canon the worship of angels as gods, and established the proper veneration of them. In the time of Pope Sylvester of Rome and the Alexandrian Patriarch Alexander, in the fourth century, this Feast of the Archangel Michael and the other heavenly powers was instituted, to be celebrated in November. Why in November? Because November is the ninth month after March, and it is thought that the world was created in the month of March. The ninth month after March was chosen because of the nine orders of angels that were the first created beings. St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul (that Apostle who was caught up to the third heaven), writes of these nine orders in his book: 'Celestial Hierarchies'. These orders are as follows: six-winged Seraphim, many-eyed Cherubim, godly Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels and Angels. The leader of the whole angelic army is the Archangel Michael. When Satan, Lucifer, fell away from God, and carried half the angels with him to destruction, then Michael arose and cried to the unfallen angels: 'Let us give heed! Let us stand aright; let us stand with fear!', and the whole angelic army sang aloud: 'Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!' (See on the Archangel Michael: Joshua 5:13-15 and Jude v.9). Among the angels there rules a perfect unity of mind, of soul and of love; of total obedience of the lesser powers to the greater and of all to the holy will of God. Each nation has its guardian angel, as does each individual Christian. We must keep in mind that, whatever we do, publicly or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel and that, on the Day of Judgment, a great multitude of the holy angels of heaven will be gathered around the throne of Christ, and the thoughts, words and deeds of every man will be laid bare before them. May God have mercy on us and save us at the prayers of the holy Archangel Michael and all the bodiless powers of heaven. Amen.
Troparion, Tone 4
Supreme Leaders of the Heavenly Hosts,/ we implore you that by your prayers you will encircle us,/ unworthy as we are,/ with the protection of the wings of your immaterial glory/ and guard us who fall down before you and fervently cry:/ deliver us from dangers,/ for you are the commanders of the powers above.
Another Troparion, Tone 1
Let us praise Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Powers, Authorities and Principalities,/ Dominions, Archangels and Angels,/ for they are the Bodiless ministers of the Unoriginate 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.
Kontakion, Tone 2
Supreme Leaders 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 Supreme Leaders of the Bodiless Hosts.
Holy Protection Russian Orthodox Church
2049 Argyle Ave. Los Angeles, California 90068