Tuesday, November 04, 2014

The Feast of All Saints 2014 - the Angels

From the Breviary according to the use of the Roman Curia, 1529, the continuation of the sermon for the fifth day in the Octave of All Saints:

To this day’s solemnity, dedicated to all the Saints, let us now call the heavenly and angelic spirits, who, knowing no fall or disobedience, stand in their numberless legions, looking upon the countenance of the divine majesty with clear and unfailing sight, sounding forth the harmony of an unending hymn, and the glory of the supreme and simple godhead. There the seraphim burn before Him, the Cherubim shine, the Thrones sit in judgment; there the exalted Dominations, that hold primacy among the great spirits in the halls of heaven, worship God. There the mighty order of Principalities holds sway over the host of heaven, there the Powers rule, and with burning zeal press down the necks of the princes of hell. There the glory of the blessed Virtues shines forth, and the magnificence of the Archangels, the lovely innocence of the Angels.

It is these who drive from us the assaults of the enemy, who proclaim to us the secrets of the divine will, strengthen our minds when we grow weak, and always pray for us before our Father in heaven. Upon us, therefore, is laid a great obligation to preserve our honest conduct in all places, since nowhere can we hide from the sight of such princes and guardians, and of the divine majesty.

The ceiling of the Baptistery of Florence, ca. 1240-1300. The Nine Choirs of Angels are depicted within the third octagonal band from the lantern; the Cherubim and Seraphim (not labelled) to either side of Christ, followed, in clockwise order, by the Thrones, Virtues, Principalities, Angels, Archangels, Powers, and Dominations.

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