23rd Week After Pentecost
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In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit:
Illumine my heart, O Master who lovest mankind, with the pure light of Thy divine knowledge. Open Thou the eyes of my mind to the understanding of Thy Gospel teachings. Implant also in me a love for Thy blessed commandments. Grant me the grace to overcome all my carnal desires, so that I may enter more completely into a spiritual manner of living, both thinking and doing such things as are well pleasing to Thee. For Thou art the illumination of our souls and bodies, O Christ our God, and unto Thee do we ascribe glory, together with Thine all-holy, good and life-creating Spirit; now and ever and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
O Lord Jesus Christ, open Thou the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Thy word and understand and do Thy will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Thy commandments from me, but open mine eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Thy law. Speak unto me the hidden and secret things of Thy wisdom. On Thee do I set my hope, O my God, that Thou shalt enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Thy knowledge, not only to cherish those things which are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the Saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my restoration, enlightenment and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul, and the inheritance of life everlasting. For Thou art the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from Thee cometh every good deed and every gift. Amen.
By the intercessions of Thine All-immaculate Mother and of all Thy Saints, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen
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1 Thessalonians 1:1-5
Paul, and Silvanus, and Timotheus, unto the church of the Thessalonians which is in God the Father and in the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ, in the sight of God and our Father; Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God. For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.
"All things are delivered to me of my Father: and no man knoweth who the Son is, but the Father; and who the Father is, but the Son, and he to whom the Son will reveal him. And he turned him unto his disciples, and said privately, Blessed are the eyes which see the things that ye see: For I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them."
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SYNAXIS OF THE HOLY ARCHANGELS MICHAEL AND GABRIEL AND ALL THE BODILESS POWERS
Troparion of the Angels Tone 4
Supreme Leaders of the Heavenly Hosts,/ we implore you that by your prayers you will encircle us,/ unworthy as we are,/ with the protection of the wings of your immaterial glory/ and guard us who fall down before you and fervently cry:/ deliver us from dangers,/ for you are the commanders of the powers above.
Another Troparion of the Angels Tone 1
Let us praise Cherubim, Seraphim, Thrones, Powers, Authorities and Principalities,/ Dominions, Archangels and Angels,/ for they are the Bodiless ministers of the Unoriginate Trinity/ and revealers of incomprehensible mysteries./ Glory to Him Who has given you being; glory to Him Who has given you light;/ glory to Him Who is praised by you in thrice-holy hymns.
Troparion of St Tysilio Tone 8
Princely dignity was set at nought by thee, O Father Tysilio,/ for thou didst put aside the glory of this world, preferring to serve God in monastic poverty./ Wherefore we pray thee, intercede for us, that with courage we may renounce mammon/ and live only in Christ for the salvation of men's souls.
Kontakion of the Angels Tone 2
Supreme Leaders of God's armies and ministers of the divine glory,/ princes of the bodiless Angels and guides of men,/ ask what is good for us and great mercy,/ as Supreme Leaders of the Bodiless Hosts.
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The Holy Archangel Michael and all the Bodiless Powers of Heaven.
The angels of God have been commemorated by men from the earliest times, but this commemoration often degenerates into the divinization of angels (IV Kings 23:5; A.V. II Kings). Heretics always wove fantasies round the angels. Some of them saw the angels as gods and others, if they did not so regard them, took them to be the creators of the whole visible world. The local Council inLaodicea, that was held in the fourth century, rejected in its 35thCanon the worship of angels as gods, and established the proper veneration of them. In the time of Pope Sylvester of Rome and theAlexandrian Patriarch Alexander, in the fourth century, this Feast of the Archangel Michael and the other heavenly powers was instituted, to be celebrated in November. Why in November? BecauseNovember is the ninth month after March, and it is thought that the world was created in the month of March. The ninth month after March was chosen because of the nine orders of angels that were the first created beings. St Dionysius the Areopagite, a disciple of theApostle Paul (that Apostle who was caught up to the third heaven), writes of these nine orders in his book: 'Celestial Hierarchies'. These orders are as follows: six- winged Seraphim, many-eyed Cherubim, godly Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities,Archangels and Angels. The leader of the whole angelic army is theArchangel Michael. When Satan, Lucifer, fell away from God, andcarried half the angels with him to destruction, then Michael aroseand cried to the unfallen angels: 'Let us give heed! Let us stand aright; let us stand with fear!', and the whole angelic army sang aloud: 'Holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory!' (See on the Archangel Michael: Joshua 5:13-15and Jude v.9). Among the angels there rules a perfect unity of mind,of soul and of love; of total obedience of the lesser powers to the greater and of all to the holy will of God. Each nation has its guardian angel, as does each individual Christian. We must keep in mind that, whatever we do, openly or in secret, we do in the presence of our guardian angel and that, on the Day of Judgement, agreat multitude of the holy angels of heaven will be gathered around the throne of Christ, and the thoughts, words and deeds of every manwill be laid bare before them. May God have mercy on us and save usat the prayers of the holy Archangel Michael and all the bodiless powers of heaven. Amen. To Thee be glory and thanks always. Amen.
Saint Nikolai Velimirovic, Bishop of Zhicha
The Prologue of Ochrid