The Feast of the Archangels~Br. Milan Komadina,Novice
Today we commemorate archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. In the past I didn’t know much about them. And in order to write this sermon I investigated and I found out interesting information that is useful for all of us who are Christian. In my native country, however, people celebrate Saint Archangel Michael as a special saint. There is a tradition called – Slava which is the day when family celebrate a saint or an angel believing that they are their family protector. My grandparents also celebrate Slava in commemoration of Saint Archangel Michael. Let me say a bit more about this custom. Slava (Serbian Cyrillic: Слава, lit. ‘Glory, Celebration’, pronounced [ˈslâʋa]) is a tradition of the ritual of glorification of one’s family’s patron saint, found mainly among Serbian Orthodox Christians. The family celebrates the Slava annually on the saint’s feast day. During the year there are hundreds of saints, but the most of the Slava celebrations occur during the winter. Dates and saints that are most common are: November 8th Sveti Dimitrije (St. Demetrius ), November 21th Sveti Arhanđel Mihailo (St. Archangel Michael), December 19th Sveti Nikola (St. Nicolas). This custom of honoring a family patron saint, celebrated chiefly by the Serbs, but also by some Macedonians, Montenegrins, Bulgarians and Gorani. If we look further, angels are not only celebrated in Orthodox Church. They are celebrated worldwide. If we investigate more we can find out more details in Christian sources about angels and demons.
Who are angels in Christianity?
Angels are represented throughout Christian Bibles as spiritual beings intermediate between God and humans: “Yet you have made them [humans] a little lower than God, and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Psalms 8:4–5). Christians believe that angels are created beings, based on (Psalms 148:2–5; Colossians 1:16). There are 4 types of angels: First Sphere, Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. However, chapter 20 of the Book of Enoch mentions seven holy angels who watch, that often are considered the seven archangels: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Saraqael, Raguel, and Remiel. The Life of Adam and Eve lists the archangels as well: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael and Joel. It is also good to know about bad (fallen) angels who are called demons. 7 fallen angels are named after entities from both Christian and Pagan mythology, such as Moloch, Chemosh, Dagon, Belial, Beelzebub and Satan himself. Following the canonical Christian narrative, Satan convinces other angels to live free from the laws of God, thereupon they are cast out of heaven. Some medieval scholars of demonology ascribed to a hierarchy of seven archdemons the seven deadly sins: Lucifer (Pride); Mammon (Avarice); Asmodeus (Lechery); Satan (Anger); Beelzebub (Gluttony); Leviathan (Envy); and Belphegor (Sloth).
In today reading we read: Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14, Revelation 12:7-12 and John 1:47-51 where angels and archangels are mentioned, too. I would like to share these verses in order to let us learn more about the Bible prospect of angels.
Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14
I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back, but he was defeated, and there was no longer any place for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying, “Now the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God. And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death. Therefore, rejoice, O heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to you, O earth and sea, for the devil has come down to you in great wrath, because he knows that his time is short!
When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.” “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked. Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.” Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.
I would like to conclude that in one hand we have fallen angels who are tempting us. Many sins that we commit we do with demons` help even though we might not be aware of it. Here are their names and sins they help us to commit – : Lucifer (Pride); Mammon (Avarice); Asmodeus (Lechery); Satan (Anger); Beelzebub (Gluttony); Leviathan (Envy); and Belphegor (Sloth). But as Christians we are blessed with angels and archangels who are also praying for us and helping us in doing well. As mentioned in chapter 20 of the Book of Enoch there are seven holy angels who watch, that often are considered the seven archangels: Michael, Raphael, Gabriel, Uriel, Saraqael, Raguel, and Remiel. This means that we should also pray to archangels and angels the same way that we pray to saints and Holy Mary in order to pray for us and to help us in our daily life. Wishing you a blessed celebration of archangels in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Prayer to Your Guardian Angel
Angel of God,
my guardian dear,
To whom God’s love
commits me here,
Ever this day,
be at my side,
To light and guard,
Rule and guide.
(‘From infancy to death human life is surrounded by their (the angels) watchful care and intercession. Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life. Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united to God. ‘ – from the Catechism of the Catholic Church; 336.)
You must be logged in to post a comment.