‘Where the Shade of your Grace Falls, Archangel’ (choir of fathers from Vatopaidi)

8 November 2022

The monastic life has been called the angelic state, as being the pre-eminent way of imitating and following the life of the angels. Monastics are always striving to live as citizens of heaven. They consider themselves no more than temporary visitors on earth and their constant desire is to be ‘a little less than the angels’ (Ps. 8, 5). They want to live an angelic life here and to replace the ranks of the fallen angels. Indeed, the organizer of the common monastic life in Cappadocia, Saint Basil the Great, in his 2nd letter to ‘his comrade’, Gregory, asks: ‘What then is more blessed than to imitate the state of the angels?’

The ascetic Fathers declare: ‘Let the life of a monastic be an imitation of the angels, incinerating sin. For the life of a monastic is the final fruition of those who repent. Let the life of a monastic be characterized by the death of their body towards any desire. For the life of Saint John has become an example for you’ (Abba Yperekhios).

For this reason, monastic communities pay particular honour to the Holy Archangels, by fasting every Monday, the day dedicated to the Archangels within the framework of the weekly festal cycle, as well as with a vigil on the day of their feast (8 November).

The doxastiko from Mattins, ‘Where the shade of your grace falls, Archangel’ encapsulates the content of the feast.

It is sung here by a choir of fathers from the Holy and Great Monastery of Vatopaidi.