Encyclical of Archbishop Demetrios for the Feast of the Holy Archangels - November 8, 2013
Nov 6, 2013
Protocol Number 166/13
November 8, 2013
Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels
To the Most Reverend Hierarchs, the Reverend Priests and Deacons, the Monks and Nuns, the Presidents and Members of the Parish Councils of the Greek Orthodox Communities, the Distinguished Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the Day, Afternoon, and Church Schools, the Philoptochos Sisterhoods, the Youth, the Hellenic Organizations, and the entire Greek Orthodox Family in America
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On this blessed feast of the Holy Archangels, we give glory and thanksgiving to God for the heavenly hosts who faithfully serve Him, carrying out His commands throughout all of creation. We also express our gratitude for the angels of God, as they offer divine protection and reveal the power of holiness.
This is affirmed in the hymns of the feast, especially in the praises of the Archangel Michael. In the Great Vespers we chant, “Rejoice with us today, all you leaders of the angelic hosts! The great Archangel Michael, your Captain and our guardian, is present in the Church today and watches over us, sanctifying this place.” The Archangel Michael leads the myriads of heavenly servants in obedience to God. In following God’s will they are both our guardians against evil and champions of purity, justice, grace and truth. Because God is holy, His messengers minister in holiness, seeking our deliverance through the power of divine love.
The power to bring sanctity into any place in this world is also given to each of us when we live in Christ, and we seek to bear fruit in the lives of others. On this feast we recognize this especially in the ministry offered by Saint Michael’s Home in New York. For over fifty years, the staff and directors of Saint Michael’s have offered compassionate service to the elderly, and in so doing have created a place of love, grace, and holiness. Through their deep concern for the physical and spiritual needs of the residents, their commitment to offer the highest quality of care and comfort, and their faithfulness to the sacred mission and witness of this institution of our Holy Archdiocese, God has truly sanctified this Home. The commitment to this mission has also guided the plans for expanding St. Michael’s. Progress is being made on acquiring and renovating a property that will provide the Home with more space and opportunities for ministry while maintaining high standards of care.
This growth, together with the priority of St. Michael’s to assist residents with the cost of their care, is made possible through the generosity of Greek Orthodox faithful throughout our Holy Archdiocese. In commemoration of this feast and in support of the ministry of Saint Michael’s Home, the parishes of our Archdiocese are asked to collect a special offering on Sunday, November 10. This is an opportunity for faithful throughout our Church in America to contribute to the growth of this vital ministry. Please designate your gifts for Saint Michael’s, send them to the Archdiocese, and they will be forwarded to the Home. I also ask on this blessed feast that you offer prayers for the residents, staff, and directors, and for the many ministries throughout this country offered by our Metropolises and parishes in the care of the elderly. As the angels carry holiness throughout all of creation and bring sanctity through accomplishing the will of God, may we also carry the presence of Christ through our lives bringing holiness into every place by revealing His power and grace.
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America