Yesterday I set out to write a short piece on each day of the week. In the Orthodox calendar, each day of the week has its own particular dedication – an aspect of the life and ministry of Christ or of our life as Christians. Monday is remembered as the Day of the Angels. The hymns for this day will always reflect, in some manner, the ministry of angels.
The Scriptures are filled with the stories of angels – whether encounters with angels by men or women – or visions of angels (described in numbers that represent a near infinity) surrounding God or His throne.
The first sort of story I find of interest because it says we are not alone – that is – not alone among sentient creatures. We are not the only creature who can give voice to praise. We are told in Scripture that the angels are “ministering servants” – as far as we are concerned they are here to help.
I have collected (mentally) many stories of modern angelic encounters over the years and marvel at each one. Some are simply unusual but otherwise mundane – a stranger who acted on someone’s behalf and then seemed to have vanished. Others are stories of angels that could have been taken from Scripture – complete with wings! Among those is one related from the childhood of Mother Alexandra (the former Princess Ileana of Romania).
Of the visions recorded in Scripture – I find it interesting that there is no description of a heavenly vision of God or His throne (however obliquely God may be described) that does not include a numberless host of angels. God is not spoken of as the Alone – but as the Lord God of Sabbaoth (Hosts).
Thus I begin my Monday with a remembrance that I am not alone – my prayers and praises are part of a vast chorus that fills the universe and beyond. Nor do I dwell alone. I am watched and guarded by the good God who created me, and by His angels that surround me.
Troparion to St. Michael in the 4th tone
O Commander of the Heavenly Hosts,
We who are unworthy beseech you
That by your prayers you will encompass us
Beneath the wings of your immaterial glory
And protect us who fall down and cry:
Deliver us all from harm,
For you are the commander of the powers on high.