Orders of the angels • Nine orders of the angels are divided into three hierarchies • Each hierarchies are divided into three orders: the highest, the intermediate, the lower.
First Hierarchy • Seraphim, Cherubim and Thrones
The Seraphim • And the seraphim stood around Him, each having six wings" (Isaiah 6:2) • the seraphim are fire-like, as it said: "Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire" (Ps 103:4). • “Seraphim" in the Hebrew language means: "flaming"
Cherubim • Name signifies “fullness of knowledge.” • specific tasks such as the expulsion of man from the Garden of Eden • God directed Moses to place two golden Cherubim on the top of the Ark of the Covenant • Described as having many eyes
Thrones • They serve as “judges”, being the voice of God’s justice • Help kings and masters to bring forth right judgement. • Thrones are involved with justice in the heavens, and are some of the most powerful angels in service to God. • Their primary function is to carry out or fulfill the divine justice of God.
Second Hierarchy • Dominions • Virtues • Powers
Dominions • Regulating the duties of lower angels. • Present order to the lower ranks and will on occasion make themselves known to man. • They voluntarily and with joy serve God unceasingly
Virtues • Responsible for the maintenance of the universe. • Their primary duty is to supervise the movements of the heavenly bodies • Ensure that the cosmos remains in order. • They possess great strength and appear to be “workhorses” of the angels.
Powers • Powers are the bearers of conscience and the keepers of history • . They sometimes serve as warrior angels. • They work to oversee the distribution of power among humankind, hence their name. • Strengthen the good ascetics in spiritual struggles and labors, protecting • They help to cast out evil thoughts and slanders of the enemy and to conquer the devil.
Third Hierarchy • Principalities • Archangels • Angels
Principalities • Their duty also is to carry out the orders given to them by the Dominions and grant blessings to the world. • They oversee groups of people. • They inspire living things to many branches of knowledge such art and/or science.
Archangels • Called the great heralds of good news, announcing the great and most glorious. • Their service consists in revealing prophecies, knowledge, and understanding of God's will which they receive from the higher orders of angels and announce to the lower order, ie. the angels • Strengthen people in the holy faith, enlightening their mind with the light of knowledge of the holy Gospel and revealing the mysteries of devout faith.
Angels • They are appointed to guard each of us who believe: they sustain virtuous people from fallen, and never leave us though we have sinned, but are always ready to help us, if only we ourselves want it. • “For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” Psalms 91: 11, 12.