Angels – The Celestial Hierarchy, pt.1

I thought we had a great discussion on angels last Tuesday. For those who missed us, I have attached a copy of the readings we looked at last week. As a follow-up to our discussion this week, pay close attention to angels at worship. The liturgy is intended to and should reflect and allow us to participate in that same worship that angels give to God. So that when we sing or say the Sanctus (“Holy, Holy, Holy”) we truly and actually are joining our voices with myriads and myriads and thousands of thousands of the different choirs of angels who are our fellow citizens in the City of God.

This week we are going to look at the nine choirs of angels. Scripture discloses to us these different angelic orders, but often merely mentions them in passing without elaboration or explanation. In the sixth century, the Syrian theologian Pseudo-Dionysius coined the term “hierarchy” (literally “sacred order”) to describe the ranking of these three hierarchies of three choirs each with regards to their proximity to the Divine. He also systemized the traditional teaching concerning each of these nine choirs of angels. I have attached chapters 7, 8, and 9 of the Celestial Hierarchy wherein he discusses each of the nine orders of angels (Reading is not required) The Wikipedia article also gives a more succinct overview of the hierarchy. You can also review the Scriptural references to each of these choirs as follows:

Seraphim (Isaiah 6:1-7)
Cherubim (1 Kings 6:23-27)
Thrones (Colossians 1:16);

Dominions (Colossians 1:16)
Virtues (1 Peter 3:22)
Powers (Ephesians 3:10);

Principalities (Ephesians 6:12)
Archangels (Luke 1:26, Revelation 12:7)
Angels (Genesis 21:17).

Dinner on Tuesday is take-out pizza. If you have a particular kind of pizza you like, please let us know. Dinner is at 6. Please bring a friend.

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was round about the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Fear not, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed, and said, “O Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw; and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire round about Elisha.

2 Kings 6:15-17

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