The Church celebrates the Cathedral of Archangel Michael and other Celestial Disembodied Forces

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The celebration of the Council of the Archangel Michael of God and other Celestial Disembodied Forces was established at the beginning of the IV century at the Local Laodicea Cathedral, which was a few years before the First Ecumenical Council. The Laodicean Council, by its 35th rule, condemned and rejected the heretical worship of angels as creators and rulers of the world and approved their Orthodox veneration. The feast is celebrated in November – the ninth month of March (from which the year began in ancient times) – in accordance with the number of 9 Angelic ranks. The eighth day of the month (according to the old style) indicates the future Council of all the Powers of Heaven on the day of the Last Judgment of God, which the holy fathers call “the eighth day,” for after this century, which goes by weeks of days, “the seventh day will come,” and then “the Son of Man will come in His Glory and all the holy Angels with Him” (Matthew 25:31).

The Angelic ranks are divided into three hierarchies – the highest, middle and lowest. Each hierarchy consists of three ranks. The highest hierarchy includes: Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones. The six-winged Seraphim (Flaming, Fiery) are closest to the Most Holy Trinity (Is.6:2). They are burning with love for God and encourage others to it.

After the Seraphim, the Lord will have many Cherubim (Gen. 3:24). Their name means: outpouring of wisdom, enlightenment, for through them, shining with the light of knowledge of God and understanding of the mysteries of God, wisdom and enlightenment are sent down for true Knowledge of God.

Behind the Cherubim are the God–bearing Thrones, according to the grace given to them for service (Col. 1:16), mysteriously and incomprehensibly bearing God. They serve the justice of God.

The middle Angelic hierarchy consists of three ranks: Dominion, Power and Authority.

The dominions (Col. 1:16) have dominion over the subsequent orders of Angels. They instruct the earthly rulers appointed by God in wise management. Dominions teach to master the senses, to tame sinful desires, to enslave the flesh to the spirit, to rule over one's will, to overcome temptations.

The powers (1 Peter 3:22) do the will of God. They work miracles and send down the grace of miracle-working and perspicacity to the saints of God. The forces help people in carrying out obediences, strengthen patience, grant spiritual strength and courage.

The authorities (1 Peter 3:22; Col.1:16) have the power to tame the power of the devil. They reflect demonic temptations from people, affirm ascetics, protect them, help people in the fight against evil thoughts.

The lower hierarchy includes three ranks: Principalities, Archangels and Angels.

The principles (Col. 1:16) rule over the lower angels, directing them to fulfill Divine commands. They are charged with managing the universe, protecting countries, peoples, tribes. The principles instruct people to give everyone the honor befitting his rank. The superiors are taught to perform official duties not for the sake of personal glory and benefits, but for the honor of God and the benefit of neighbors.

The archangels (1 Sol.4:16) proclaim the great and glorious things, reveal the mysteries of faith, prophecies and understanding of the will of God, strengthen the holy faith in people, enlightening their minds with the light of the Holy Gospel.

Angels (1 Peter 3:22) are closest to people. They proclaim the intentions of God, instruct people to a virtuous and holy life. They keep believers, keep them from falling, raise up the fallen, never leave us and are always ready to help if we wish.

All ranks of the Heavenly Powers bear the common name of Angels – in essence, their ministry. The Lord reveals His will to the higher Angels, and they, in turn, enlighten the rest.

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