Table of Contents

Contemplations on the hymn Fa-Nitenh Enhat, chanted for the Archangel Michael after the reading of the Synaxarion.

Verse 1 – Part 1

The one who possesses wings of silver,
The one to whom belongs the crown of gold,
He who possesses some jewels:
Michael the Archangel.

Now here is a marvel on which we must contemplate: one in servitude wears a crown of gold and jewels, before his master. How can it be that in front of the Lord of Hosts, an angel wears the crown?

In allowing this to be, the Lord of Glory is honoring him. The Lord has found him worthy of honor – and if the Lord of Hosts allows him this honor, then who are we not to offer praise?

We remember, then, that in the Holiest of Books, we know that clothing in jewels or garments means one is clothed with virtue and holiness. If only we, too, could be clothed in such virtue, virtue found beautiful in the sight of our Lord… A virtue so pleasing and comely to Him that our Lord be praised through the beauty of our garments – the garments that come by His grace.

If only we could keep our white garment clean – let alone acquiring gold crowns and expensive jewels! If only we could struggle to honor Him before expecting others to praise Him through us…

If only we could learn to praise with the angels, saying, “Glory to God in the Highest!” so that others might glorify Him in us, and bow before Him who clothes us with honor.

If only we could reflect the rays of the Sun of Righteousness, that we might fly on the wings of grace.

Verse 1 – Part 2

The one who possesses wings of silver,
The one to whom belongs the crown of gold,
He who possesses some jewels:
Michael the Archangel.

If the Lord does honor him such, if the church praises him, then all the more must we strive to learn from him!

“But when the archangel Michael contended with the devil and disputed about the body of Moses, he did not dare to bring a condemnation of slander against him, but said, ‘The Lord rebuke you!’” (Jude 1:9).

What a marvel that even the heavenly engage in combat against the enemy. What a comfort that we are not alone in this struggle! What a comfort to realize that there are those stronger than us fighting!

How, though, did the angel conquer? It was not by his strength! It was not by his might or for his girdle of jewels. Rather, these are decorations after the struggle… For the victory that he has, was victory in the Name of the Lord. It was the by the Lord’s rebuke, not Michael’s, that the heavenly triumph over the demons. What a great lesson, that it is the same for us – we will conquer him in our wars only through the Name of the Lord.

O Michael, intercede on our behalf before Him whom you praise! Intercede and pray for us, that we might learn to call on the name of the Lord in all things. Pray that in trials and tribulations, we call on His name that we might glorify and be glorified by Him and through Him, and found worthy to wear the clothes of virtue.

Verse 2

He flew unto Babylon unto the three holy boys,
He saved them from the fiery furnace
Of Nebuchadnezzar the king…

What must have it been like, for an angel to go to a place foreign to its nature? What was it like to leave the place of praise, to leave heaven, in order to save three children in distress?

I do not think that the holy Archangel thought about these things, because it was the Lord’s will that he go. If it was His will, then this is a true praise – to honor Him in action, not just in words.

What lessons we must learn from you, O Michael, in our service here below. How often do we care more about our image and our place of praise, than we do about stepping down and lifting people up to Him? See, even the angels love, and yet we forget our brothers. Michael left the heavens – do we leave our beds, our pedestals, our egos?

Pray for us, O Holy Archangel, that we might learn humility, that we might learn to love; that we might learn to seek His will as you did, that we might glorify Him with not just words, but with our selves.

Verse 3

“Satan was embarrassed today
With his wicked hosts:
By the standing up of Michael
The great Archangel.

How history does repeat itself and how we never seem to learn. So often do we see that the devil can be humiliated…

The devil thought he could make the righteous Job fall, but Job stood before him, and he was laughed at…

The devil thought that the great Noah would fall, using the people of the land to mock and discourage him, but Noah stood before him, and the devil was exposed…

The devil thought that he could make David the prophet fall…Indeed, David faltered, but he stood up again, and the devil was humiliated…

The devil thought he would make Saint Peter fall, but he stood again, and the devil cowered before him…

The list can go on, but like you, O Archangel, they all stood up and triumphed for one reason: they stood up in the Name of the Lord. Like you, they said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9), and as it happened with you, the Lord’s power prevailed.

Pray for us, O Holy Archangel, that we too, might learn to call on His Name, not on our own might, for victory over the devil…that we too, might see that day when, as it is written: “The great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev. 12:9).

Verse 4 – Part 1

“Michael the archangel
Gave a blow of his wing to the devil:
He was cast down to the depths,
To remain there for eternity.

What a great honor is that which has been bestowed upon the Archangel! The Lord God gave him wings, that he may use them to serve the Creator and obey His commandments. Michael the Archangel used this talent given to him by the Lord, and the Lord honored him because of his faithfulness. By submitting himself to the Lord’s service, He was able to cast the devil to the depths.

The Lord has given us wonderful talents. Have we been wise to use our talents for the service and glory of God? Surely we can learn from the Archangel in submitting what the Lord has given us back to the Lord Himself. Let us be faithful with our talents. Let us struggle for the Lord, that we may be made worthy one day to hear those words from the Lord: “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Let us then build for ourselves wings on earth, using our talents as a means of honoring and serving the Lord. For in doing so, we make for ourselves spiritual wings, that we may also join the heavenly hosts in the eternal joy of heaven. Let us serve the Lord all the days of our lives. Let us learn from the Archangel, and dedicate our talents for the glory of His Name. Indeed it is a hard fight, and the devil will tempt us, and lead us astray. But we shall not fear. Rather, we shall have courage as Michael the Archangel did. For this is what the Spirit had spoken through Isaiah saying:

“Even youths will faint and be weary, and the young will fall exhausted; but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint” (Is. 40:30, 31).

Intercede for us, O great Archangel, that the Lord may have mercy on us, and give us courage to serve and honor in His name.

Verse 4 – Part 2

“Michael the archangel
Gave a blow of his wing to the devil:
He was cast down to the depths,
To remain there for eternity.

Though the devil has been cast down the depths, he continues to challenge the Lord, deceiving His Creation, and leading His children astray through temptations. But it is the devil himself who is deceived by his actions, for surely the Lord our Savior is by our side. He has overcome the devil, and granted us life once again. Therefore, who shall we fear if the Lord is by our side? Who can harm us if the God of all Powers dwells with us, and in us?

We may be tempted by sin, and may be vulnerable to evil thoughts, but the Lord Himself shall protect us from these things. Only through Him are we able to fight the devil and his temptations. The Lord loves and will not forsake us, and shall protect us. We shall continue to seek refuge in our Savior, for the Psalmist rejoices in saying: “How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings” (Ps. 36:7), and “under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler” (Ps. 91:4).

We are indeed weak without the Lord. Therefore, let us take refuge and comfort under the wings of his protection. Just as the hen gathers her brood under her wings, in the same manner the Lord gathers His children whom He has purchased by His Blood. We shall not fear Satan as long as we are with the Lord, taking comfort in his wings. We shall seek him always, that we may one day join the Archangel and the heavenly hosts in glorifying and praising the Lord in heaven.

Intercede for us O Archangel Michael that He may continue to guide us under his wings, and forgive us our sins.

Verse 5

“The holy archangel Michael:
Dwelled with the apostles:
Until they returned the world
To the knowledge of the truth.

How wonderful it is to witness to the Lord and proclaim His glory to all peoples. Indeed, the Archangel was the first to proclaim to the disciples about the Lord’s glorious resurrection from the dead upon descending from the heaven to roll the stone. He claimed to the whole earth, that the Lord had risen from the dead, and had trampled death by His death, and would appear to the disciple as He had promised.

O Michael the Archangel, what a great honor is bestowed upon you. You have served the Lord of Hosts who sits on the glorious throne in heaven. You have witnessed His humility and His Sacrifice for the world. You have witnessed His resurrection and rolled the stone of the tomb to claim to the world that the Lord has truly risen.

Indeed, to witness for the Lord, we must witness Him in our lives. Let us invite the Lord in our lives. Let us rely on the Lord throughout our days, and submit to His will and His ways. When the Lord lives in our hearts, only then are we truly able to witness to the world and proclaim His mercy and great love. Through our actions of love and service, the nations will glorify the Lord in heaven. Only then will we shine like the Archangel, whose “appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow” (Matt. 28:3). For this is the commandment of the Lord, to: “let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matt. 5:16).