Michaelmas Present: Litany of the Holy Archangels

One of the reasons why the second half of September is always so chaotic for me is that, not only is it in the few weeks leading up to my birthday both in flesh and in Santería, but it’s also a cluster of feast days: Our Lady of Mercy and the Days of the Cyprians and the Feast of Saint Cyprian of Antioch, Saint Justina, and Saint Theocistus are definitely important, but today is yet another feast day I hold dear to my heart: Michaelmas, more properly called the Feast of Saint Michael the Archangel and All Angels.  Today is the day when we especially revere and honor the bodiless and immaterial Hosts of Heaven, with Saint Michael the Archangel, their divine commander and our divine protector, at the helm and forefront of both God’s armies and our own hearts.  And, of course, to honor the other archangels: Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Sealtiel, Jehudiel, and Barachiel (or whichever set of seven archangels you prefer to use).

I’d also like to share a new(ish) page with you all: a new prayer, the Litany of the Holy Archangels.  This is, for once, not something I wrote, nor could I have written something so beautiful.  Rather, it’s a prayer I’ve been using for years now, courteously and generously shared with me by good colleague and friend Michael Lux of Nigromantic Matters.  Originally written for Johannite Christian spiritual practice, Michael has generously let me share the prayer on my own website for all to use and refer to.  I find it incredibly devout, and can be used in both solitary practice as well as in a community.  I had intended on sharing this page more publicly earlier in the year when I was going to propose a new project and craft for myself, but said project never got off the ground due to logistical issues, so I never really announced the page.  However, today’s a perfect day for just that, so I hope you enjoy and find it a useful blessing in your own practices and prayers!

With that, I hope you all have a blessed end of September, with all the Angels, Archangels, Principalities, Virtues, Powers, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim, and the seven commanders of all the hosts of Heaven blessing you and guiding you every moment of every day!

Blessed Angels, watch over us at all times during this perilous life.
Holy Archangels, be our guides on the way to Heaven.
Heavenly Principalities, govern us in soul and body.
Celestial Virtues, preserve us against the wiles of demons.
Mighty Powers, give us strength and courage in the battle of life.
Powerful Dominions, obtain for us domination over the rebellion of our flesh.
Sacred Thrones, grant us peace with God and Man.
Brilliant Cherubim, illuminate our minds with heavenly Knowledge.
Burning Seraphim, enkindle in our hearts the fire of Charity.

Seven angels around my head, guide us safely where we’re led.
Michael, defend us from all our foes; Raphael, heal us from all our woes.
Gabriel, give us peace on wings; Uriel, release us our attachments to worldly things.
Jehudiel, fill our mouths with praise to God; Sealtiel, open our hearts to prayer of God.
Barachiel, bless us in all our ways; Guardians, guide us through all our days.

Amen.

Chaplet of Saint Sealtiel the Archangel

And another chaplet for another hardly-known archangel is made!  To go along with the already-known and commonly-used chaplets for MichaelGabriel, and Raphael, I wrote up a chaplet for Sealtiel, also known as Selaphiel, the archangel of prayer of God.  This archangel presides over just that; he impels to prayer, according to the Book of Enoch, and is constantly praying to God for the sake of humanity.  Invoking Sealtiel is fantastic for improving one’s prayer regimen and practice, especially if one suffers from distractions or dissuasion from prayer.  He helps in communicating one’s prayers to God as well as facilitating our use of prayer.  He’s commonly presented with his head bowed and his arms folded over his chest in a prayer-like posture.  This chaplet was based off Cornelius Agrippa’s Scale of Nine (book II, chapter 12), where Agrippa lists “nine senses inward, and outward together”.  These are all faculties of the human self: memory, cognition, imagination, reason, hearing, sight, smell, taste, and touch.  I combined these with the always-reliable nine choirs of angels, much as in the chaplet for Michael, and focused each invocation on always living one’s life in constant prayer.  For kicks, I also threw in a few references to prayer and right action according to the New Testament as well as the seven virtues and vices to round the thing out.

Unlike the chaplet for Barachiel, the chaplet for Sealtiel can be done on any niner chaplet, much like those of Saint Raphael, whose own chaplet tends to be the go-to stand-in for any angel who has no chaplet of their own.  The chaplet beads are composed of three lead beads on a chain of nine beads.  As with Barachiel, since I don’t know of anyone making Sealtiel medallions, I’d add a decorative, perhaps floral-design, cross (not a crucifix) or a generic representation of angels (such as an enamel medallion of angels generally, or angel wing beads, etc.) to the end of the lead bead chain.

Initial prayers done on the medal/cross:

Saint Sealtiel the Archangel, angel of prayer to God, pray for us, pray with us, and guide us in prayer, that we may never be distracted, nor dissuaded, nor disabled from praying without ceasing.  Amen.

On each of three lead beads, pray the Ave Maria in honor of Mary, Queen of Heaven and of Angels.

On the nine ring beads, pray the following, each followed by a Pater Noster:

  1. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Angels, may we pray with our bodies that we may always live our lives bowed in prayer to the Almighty, chastely focused and reserved from lust, hands kept from sinful acts and kept close in service to God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  2. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Archangels, may we pray with our tongues that we may moderate ourselves in worldly sustenance to feast on the heavenly delights,  remaining humble in a world that encourages pride, letting our mouth fill with pure offerings of speech to God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  3. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Principalities, may we pray with our noses that we may always seek out holiness in the world as sweet and sacred incense and joining it with our own virtue, diligently following truth and purity instead of remaining in sloth and squalor, that we may flee filthas repugnant and vile to prevent our being defiled and impure in the presence of God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  4. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Virtues, may we pray with our eyes that we may bear witness in joy and gladness to all of creation, always in patience and never in wrath, always in kindness and never in envy, that we may see and know the works of the hand of God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  5. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Powers, may we pray with our ears that we may always hear the groaning and wailing of the world that we may respond to its needs and carry out Your mission, that we may pray for the salvation of humanity, granting to others distant and near the first fruits of the gifts of God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  6. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Dominions, may we pray with our logic that we may be guided by Your Word to guide us in our ways that our reason may never be mislead, nor our senses deluded, nor our thoughts biased in any way but to God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  7. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Thrones, may we pray with our imagination that we may always envision the way, the truth, and the life of righteousness and bear it constantly as our most cherished and holiest blessing from God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  8. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Cherubim, may we pray with our intellect that we may always keep our thoughts aloft and seek wisdom we lack in the Almighty, always in faith of God, always in hope of God, always in love of God.  Pater Noster, etc.
  9. By the intercession of Saint Sealtiel and the heavenly choir of Seraphim, may we pray with our mind that we may never forget our first origin from God, nor our final destination to God, nor our temporal creation by God, nor our eternal presence within God.  Pater Noster, etc.

Concluding prayer:

O pure and holy Archangel Saint Sealtiel, you bow before the Almighty Lord offering angelic salutations of praise and thanksgiving. Guide us in our prayer.  Like you, we would like to unceasingly pray and worship God the right way.  May our lives be like incense pleasing to God.  While awaiting for the inevitable time of separation from this material world, may we praise the Holy Trinity in the spirit of true love and humility throughout the days of our life in eternity.  Grant that we may always pray constantly, continually, and unceasingly throughout our lives at all times and in all places to His Divine Majesty and with all the communion of blessed saints and angels in all the heavens that our entire lives may be a pleasing benediction in honor of His neverending grace and illuminated glory.  Through Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.