November 8, 2013 </br>Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers of Heaven

November 8, 2013
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the Other Bodiless Powers of Heaven

The angels of God were celebrated by men from earliest times but this celebration was often turned into the divinization of angels (II Kings 23:5). The heretics wove all sorts of fables concerning the angels. Some of them looked upon angels as gods; others, although they did not consider them gods, called them the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council of Laodicea (four or five years before the First Ecumenical Council) rejected the worship of angels as gods and established the proper veneration of angels in its Thirty-fifth Canon. In the fourth century, during the time of Sylvester, Pope of Rome, and Alexander, Patriarch of Alexandria, the present Feast of Archangel Michael and all the other heavenly powers was instituted for celebration in the month of November. Why precisely in November? Because November is the ninth month after March, and March is considered to be the month in which the world was created. Also, as the ninth month after March, November was chosen for the nine orders of angels who were created first. St. Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of the Apostle Paul (who was taken up into the third heaven), described these nine orders of angels in his book, On the Celestial Hierarchies, as follows: six-winged Seraphim, many-eyed Cherubim, God-bearing Thrones, Dominions, Powers, Virtues, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels. The leader of all the angelic hosts is the Archangel Michael. When Satan, Lucifer, fell away from God and drew a part of the angels with him to destruction, then Michael stood up and cried out before the faithful angels: “Let us attend! Let us stand aright! Let us stand with fear!” and all of the faithful angelic heavenly hosts cried out: “Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God of Sabaoth! Heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!” Concerning the Archangel Michael, see Joshua 5:13-15 and Jude 1:9. Among the angels there reign perfect oneness of mind, oneness of soul, and love. The lower orders also show complete obedience to the higher orders, and all of them together to the holy will of God. Every nation has its guardian angel, as does every Christian. We must always remember that whatever we do, in open or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel. On the day of the Dread Judgment, the multitude of the hosts of the holy angels of heaven will gather around the throne of Christ, and the deeds, words, and thoughts of every man will be revealed before all. May God have mercy on us and save us by the prayers of the Archangel Michael and all the bodiless heavenly powers. Amen. (Prologue of Ohrid) 

 


GREAT VESPERS

Kathisma Reading
“Blessed is the man” is sung.

 

At Psalm 140

In Tone 4

8. O Archangel Michael, you manifested yourself
to be the greatest defender of the thrice-holy Source of Light.
Together with the Powers on high, you joyfully call out:
Holy are You, O Father.
Holy are You, O Co-eternal Word.
Holy are You, O Holy Spirit.
You are the one glory, the one kingdom, and one nature;
You are the one Divinity and Power.

7. O Archangel Michael, you manifested yourself
to be the greatest defender of the thrice-holy Source of Light.
Together with the Powers on high, you joyfully call out:
Holy are You, O Father.
Holy are You, O Co-eternal Word.
Holy are You, O Holy Spirit.
You are the one glory, the one kingdom, and one nature;
You are the one Divinity and Power.

6. O Archangel Michael, you are like a flaming fire,
and your godliness is awesome.
By your bodiless nature you cross the ends of the earth,
fulfilling the commands of the Creator of all.
You also make your Church a fountain of healings.
You are venerated because of your holy calling.

5. O Archangel Michael, you are like a flaming fire,
and your godliness is awesome.
By your bodiless nature you cross the ends of the earth,
fulfilling the commands of the Creator of all.
You also make your Church a fountain of healings.
You are venerated because of your holy calling.

4. You made the winds Your messenger
and flaming fire Your servant, just as it is written.
Among the ranks of Your archangels, O Lord,
You have shown Michael the Archangel to be the leader.
He is obedient to Your commands, O Word.
With fear he sings the thrice-holy hymn to Your glory.

3. By divine grace, O Gabriel,
the eternal intelligence created you to be a second light.
You were to illumine the whole world
that you might reveal a divine and truly great mystery
which had been hidden from eternity:
that God Who is bodiless was made flesh in a virgin womb
and became man to save mankind.

2. O Gabriel, you stand before the throne of the thrice-holy Source of Light.
Glistening with celestial splendour.
We on earth joyfully dance and sing your praises.
O leader of the heavenly hosts,
O intercessor for our souls,
deliver us from the darkness of our passion
by illuminating us with your light.

1. O Gabriel, leader of the heavenly hosts
and intercessor for our souls,
crush the boldness of those who attack your flock.
Put an end to schisms within the Church.
Calm the storm of numberless temptations.
Deliver from trial and tribulation
those who lovingly venerate you
and hasten to protect us with the shadow of your wings.

In Tone 6, Glory…

Rejoice with us, all you leaders of the angels;
for the great Archangel, your captain and our guardian,
appears today in his holy church.
He wondrously watches over us and truly sanctifies this place.
Therefore, singing his praises daily,
let us cry out to him:
Keep us safe by the protection of your wings,
O great Archangel Michael.

Now…

Who would not call you blessed, O Virgin most holy?
Who would not sing a hymn of praise
to the glory of your giving birth without pain or travail?
The Only-begotten Son Himself,
begotten of the Father before all ages,
was made flesh out of you in a manner
that cannot be explained, O Woman most pure!
And for our sake, He Who is God by nature
assumed the nature of a man.
He is not divided into two persons;
He is understood to have two natures
without commixion or confusion.
O noble and blessed Woman,
intercede with Him that He may mercy on our souls.

 

Prokimenon
of the day

 

Readings
Joshua 5:13-15; Judges 6:7, 11-24; Isaiah 14:6-20

 

Litiya

In Tone 1

The leaders of the heavenly hosts
stand unceasingly before the throne of the Master.
They pray to the Lord to grant peace to the world
and great mercy to our souls.

As the leader of the Powers on high,
Michael has summoned us today for the feast.
He is always by our side
and preserves us today from every attack of the devil.
Come, therefore, O lovers of the feasts and lovers of Christ,
let us carry the flowers of virtue;
and with a pure mind and a clear conscience,
let us venerate the feast of the Archangel.
For he stands unceasingly before God, singing the thrice-holy hymn,
interceding for our souls to be saved.

In Tone 2

O bodiless Powers, you intercede for us.
O Leaders of the heavenly hosts,
by the brightness of your thrice-radiant glory
you give light to the whole world;
with unceasing voices you sing the thrice-holy hymn.
Pray, therefore, that our souls may be saved.

O intelligent, celestial, and bodiless Powers,
you surround the heavenly throne
and with flaming lips sing the thrice-holy hymn to God the ruler:
O holy God, O eternal Father;
O holy, mighty, and co-eternal Son;
O holy and immortal Spirit having the same nature,
and glorified together with the Father and the Son.

With immaterial lips and spiritual mouths,
the angelic ranks offer hymns to Your unapproachable divinity, O Lord.
Both the pure spirits and ministers of Your glory,
together with the incorporeal Michael and Gabriel, praise You, O Lord.
The leaders of the heavenly powers,
and the chiefs of the angels welcome us today.
They invite us to sing to Your unapproachable glory.
O Lover of Mankind,
they pray unceasingly for our souls.

In Tone 4, Glory…

With flaming lips, the Cherubim extol You, O Christ God;
and with immaterial mouths, the choirs of Archangels
loudly extols Your glory.
Michael, the captain of the heavenly powers,
unceasingly offers a song of victory to Your glory.
He has prepared us today for this feast,
so that even with lips of clay,
we may worthily sing aloud the thrice-holy hymn
as it is in the psalms.
All creation is filled with the praise of You, O Christ.
For this reason You give great mercy to the world.

Now…

Today the Theotokos, the Temple that is to contain God,
is being escorted into the Temple of the Lord,
and Zechariah receives her.
Today the Holy of Holies greatly rejoices,
and the choir of angels mystically celebrates this feast.
Let us also celebrate with them today
and cry out with Gabriel:
Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you,
and He grants us great mercy.

 

Aposticha

In Tone 1

While solemnly celebrating on earth,
let us sing as the angels to God
Who is seated on the throne of glory:
Holy are You, O heavenly Father;
holy are You, O co-eternal Word;
holy are You, O all-holy Spirit.

You made the winds your messengers and flaming fire your ministers.

O eyewitness of ineffable things,
because of your great courage
you are the leader of the heavenly beings.
You gloriously stand before the awesome throne, O Michael.
By your prayers, save those who are suffering
because of trials and tribulations.

Praise the Lord, all His angels; praise Him, all His hosts.

You are the chief of the bodiless angels
and a minister of the Divine Splendour.
You are an eyewitness and a mystic, O Michael.
Save us who devoutly honour you each year
and who faithfully extol the Trinity.

In Tone 8, Glory… Now…

O Archangel, since you are a soldier
and leader of the heavenly hosts
and the captain of the angels, O glorious one,
deliver from every care and worry,
from illnesses and bitter sins,
those who faithfully extol and beseech you.
You see the Lord Who is Spirit;
you are illumined by the unapproachable light of the Master’s glory.
For He, out of love for all people,
became incarnate of the Virgin for our sake.
By this, He wished to save mankind.

 

Troparia

In Tone 4
Princes of the heavenly hosts,* we, though unworthy, beg you* to encircle us through your prayers* under the shelter of the wings of your spiritual glory.* Guard us as we come to you and sincerely cry: * “Deliver us from dangers,** O princes of the powers on high!” (twice)

In Tone 1
Rejoice, Virgin Mary, Mother of God, full of grace,* the Lord is with you.* Blessed are you among women* and blessed is the fruit of your womb,** for you have given birth to Christ, the Saviour and Deliverer of our souls.

 

DIVINE LITURGY

Troparia and Kontakia
Troparion, Tone 4: Princes of the heavenly hosts,* we, though unworthy, beg you* to encircle us thorugh your prayers* under the shelter of the wings your spiritual glory.* Guard us as we come to you and sincerely cry:* Deliver us from dangers,* O princes of the powers on high!

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen.

Kontakion, Tone 2: Princes of God’s hosts, ministers of divine glory,* leaders of angels and guides of men,* pray for our welfare and for great mercy,* O princes of the incorporeal powers.

Prokeimenon, Tone 4
He makes spirits His angels and flaming fire His ministers.
verse: Bless the Lord, O my soul; O Lord my God, you are very great (Psalm 103:4,1)

Epistle
Hebrews 2:2-10

Alleluia, Tone 5
verse: Praise the Lord, all you His angels; praise Him, all you powers.
verse: For He spoke, and they came into being; He commanded and they were created (Psalm 148:2,5)

Gospel
Luke 10:16-21

Communion Hymn
He makes spirits His angels,* and flaming fire His ministers.* Alleluia, alleluia,* alleluia. (Psalm 103:4)

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