Today is the Synaxis of the Archangel Gabriel in the Orthodox Church calendar. Often there will be a feast day for saints (or angels) who play a prominent part in a certain event in the life of the church on the day after that event’s celebration. For example, on December 26, we celebrate a feast to the Mother of God. In this case, it’s the day after the Feast of the Annunciation in which Gabriel announces to Mary the good news that she will bear Christ.
I taught two workshops using prototypes of the Archangel Gabriel.
There’s something about angels that draws us from our earthly life to the heavens, isn’t there? They behold the face of God and teach us to glorify Him. They announce to us good news, and teach us to sing His praises.
Two Orthodox hymns to the Holy Archangel Gabriel follow:
Apolytikion in the Fourth Tone
O Commanders of the Heavenly Host, we the unworthy beseech you, that through your entreaties you will fortify us, guarding us in the shelter of the wings of your ethereal glory, even as we fervently bow before you crying: "Deliver us from all danger, as Commanders of the Powers on high! "
Kontakion in the Plagal of the Second Tone
As thou beholdest the glory of God in Heaven, and on earth dost bestow grace from on high, O leader of Angels, wise Gabriel, minister of the glory of God, and divine defender of the world, save and keep them that cry to thee: Be thyself our helper, and no one can be against us.
May you be inspired and protected by angels today, and every day.