Archiepiscopal Encyclical for the Feast of the Synaxis of the Holy Archangels
November 8, 2019
Feast of the Synaxis of the
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 commemorate the servants and messengers of God who dwell in His presence, know and do His divine will, and worship Him around His glorious throne. We offer our veneration to angels for this divine work they do in holiness and service to the Almighty. We also recognize the witness and power of the angelic nature.
Created by Him, the heavenly hosts show us the power of the Gospel and of the grace of God. As messengers, they direct people to His divine revelation. They call on us to have faith in what they see and hear continuously in the heavenly realms. As protectors, they watch over the people of God, helping us to overcome the power of temptation, affirming that we live in the presence of our Creator, and guiding us unto the salvation we have in Christ.
The service offered by the holy angels on our behalf is a witness to each of us of the divine service that we are called to offer each other. The Apostle Paul acknowledged this as the purpose of our liberty in Christ: For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love be servants of one another. (Galatians 5:13) Our freedom from temptation, sin and even death, is an opportunity for service because our faith is in the promises of God and our hope is in His saving love.
On this feast we emphasize our call to service as we affirm our commitment to the vital ministry offered by Saint Michael’s Home. At our beloved Saint Michael’s many have found protection, care, and compassion in a holy place that affirms the presence of God. This sacred work has a unique opportunity to continue through the purchase and renovation of the new property in Uniondale. However, this facility and the expansion of the services offered by Saint Michael’s needs our support.
To help establish a viable option for elder care in this new location, and to ensure that Greek Orthodox senior adults have multiple levels of care available to them, I am asking our faithful to support the ministry of Saint Michael’s with a special offering on Sunday, November 10. The gifts should be sent to Saint Michael’s Home and designated for the Expansion Fund. I also encourage you to offer your prayers on behalf of the trustees, directors, staff and residents of Saint Michael’s. This is a blessed opportunity for our Holy Archdiocese to affirm our support for this ministry, to offer a witness of our commitment to care for senior adults in our families and communities, and to share our firm belief in the value and dignity of life given to us by God.
With paternal love in Christ,
Archbishop of America