Saturday, November 16, 2013

Angels! Angels! Angels!

My job has been killing me (but I'm grateful I have it☺)so this post about my 121st Divine Service is late. Considering  that the Vespers Service I attended was the SYNAXIS OF THE ARCHANGEL MICHAEL AND THE OTHER BODILESS POWERS and that was back on November 8th. But I have a spare moment before I head off to work so here it is.

When I was a teenager and very much a born-again, tongues-talking, charasmatic Christian, I remember when Billy Graham came out with the Book Angels: God's Secret Agents so I rushed to the huge Christian book store in Manhatten and was about to ask about the book when a very old lady came up to the counter and asked, "Do you have the book, Angels, Angels, Angels by Billy Graham?" Uh, lady, that's not what it's called but looking at the graphics on the book, I can see how this dear woman thought that was the title. In any event, the book by Billy Graham was a really interesting read and since it was so long ago I don't remember any details of the book, I can say that I remember that I really liked it.  Angels, you see, are a fascinating subject.

And, of course, the Church holds angels in honor which is only appropriate since they look out for us and guide us to Christ. The Vespers service was inspiring, as always and it was a delight to behold the icons of Gabriel and Michael on the doors as we sang their hymns.

When I told my son that I was going to Vespers that evening, I told him we were commemorating St. Michael. He told me, that only humans can be Saints and not angels. I told him he was wrong since they are in heaven praying for us.  Then when I got to Vespers I noticed that in the hymns Michael was referred to as archangel and not Saint Michael.

So my question is for those of you who are more knowledgeable than I: Are angels ever called Saints or is that just reserved for those people on earth who have struggled toward Salvation? I think the Roman Catholics call Angels, Saints and perhaps that is what I was thinking about when I referred to Michael as St. Michael.  So, please, enlighten me! ☺

Fr. Gary's homily was a short teaching on Angels, their ranks and how they act on our behalf.  Some "modern" Christians don't believe in Angels but I am glad that the Orthodox hold them in high regard.  I do know that I shall have to thank my Guardian Angel when I see him and apologize for messing up so much.  But maybe I have an angel that likes to keep busy so, perhaps, he doesn't mind me messing up so much.  After all, I wonder how much work angels have if their charges happen to be Saints already.

Holy Angels, pray for us!


  1. My patron is the Holy Archangel Michael. You'd think I'd be confident in my answer, but I'm going to say that generally, you hear Holy Archangel and not St. Michael. However, the definition of saint is someone who is known to be in heaven, so I guess it isn't incorrect...
    I highly recommend Mother Alexandra's book, "Holy Angels"

  2. thanks, mimi, I added it to my wishlist....Christmas is just around the corner!

  3. The Catholic parish that I grew up in is named "Saint Michael the Archangel Catholic Church". In my current Orthodox parish directory, one member's patron is listed as "Archangel Michael". I cannot speak with any other assurance on whether it is totally a Catholic/Orthodox difference in terminology, but there are a lot of those differences floating about. Don't get bothered too much by the diversity.

  4. George,
    Thanks for the input. I know in the long wrong it is a small matter but I was just curious.