Celebrating Michael and the archangels

Michael and the Archangels

Synaxis of the Archangels, OrthodoxWiki

On November 8 the Orthodox church celebrates Michael and the archangels.

The full title for the feast is “Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salaphiel, Jegudiel, and Barachiel.” Feel free to shorten it if you like. Here’s a helpful entry on the day from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

I’ve included here two “songs” that might prove edifying. The first is from Nikolai Velimirovich’s Prologue from Ohrid. The second is from Uinseann Ó Maidín’s collection, The Celtic Monk. It was written by an eleventh-century monk named Mael Ísu Ua Brolcháin.

Heavenly Commanders,
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,
Legions virtuous,
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.

–Nikolai Velimirovich, The Prologue from Ohrid, November 8

O Angel!
Carry, O Michael so powerful,
My case to the Lord.

Are you listening?
Ask of the God of forgiveness
The remission of all my sins.

Do not delay,
Carry my fervent desire
Before the King, the Great King.

To my soul
Bring help, bring comfort
At the moment of my departure from earth.

In strength,
To meet my pining soul,
Come with multitude of Angels.

O Champion,
Against the evil, foul and troublesome world
Truly come and help me.

Do not shower
Contempt on what I say;
Do not abandon me while I live.

You I choose
To free this soul of mine,
My mind, my reason, my body.

O Advocate
Triumphant and victorious in war
O Angelic slayer of antichrist!

–Mael Ísu Ua Brolcháin, in Uinseann Ó Maidín’s The Celtic Monk

About Joel J. Miller

I'm the author of Lifted by Angels, a look at angels through the eyes of the early church. Click here for more about me or subscribe to my RSS here.