"Whom Christ loves, His angels love too." St. Nicholai of Zica (1880-+1956)
One often says the youngest of children can see the angels in the Orthodox Church, chasing them through the pews. You may have even read of holy priests encountering angels in the altar. Most of us however, have lost our innocence and the ability to see such visions, unless God so chooses. Angels are mostly referred to as the "invisible" of God's created beings! However, they are not "unknown" as their actions stand alone as proof of their existence and service to our Lord. Learn more below!
1. Angels have two roles: the first is in Heaven to glorify God, and the second on earth to carry out God's orders concerning men.
2. The word "angel" itself means herald or messenger.
3. How many are there? The great Daniel saw God on His throne-and a thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and 10,000 x 10,000 stood before Him (Chapters 9 & 10).
4. Their types? There are nine ranks of angels. Thrones, dominions, principalities, seraphim's, cherubim's, powers, sovereignties, archangels, and angels.
5. The names of Archangels? Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Salathiel, Barachiel, Jeremiel, Jegudiel.
6. Angels are different than us because they are bodiless and invisible. They don't need to eat or drink, nor do they need clothes or shelter. They don't get married and they have no worries about the future, or fear of death. God created them good and holy.
7. Angels are like us because they have names and personalities. They are individuals with intelligence, emotions, free will and the capacity to act.
8. In the Bible and Holy Tradition, angels have done many marvelous things! Archangel Michael guarded Paradise, an angel of the Lord appeared to Moses in a flame of fire, Three Angels appeared to Abraham giving us an image of the Holy Trinity, an Angel saved the three youths in Babylon from death in the midst of the burning fiery furnace, Archangel Gabriel nourished Panagia as a child living in the Holy of Holies and later brought to her the news of Christ's incarnation, Archangel Gabriel appeared to Zacharias (the father of St. John the Baptist) to announce the coming of his son, an angel appeared at Christ's tomb to announce His Resurrection, an angel of the Lord opened the jail cells of the Apostles, the angels will create a throne for our Lord Jesus Christ at His second coming.
9. Our Orthodox Church has dedicated Monday to the holy angels. Therefore, every Monday in the church services we are reminded of the holy angels with praise and prayer: We say "Holy Archangels and Angels, pray to God for us."
10. Everyone Orthodox Christian receives a guardian angel at the time of Baptism and asks for its intercession before God with the following prayer,
"O Holy Angel of God, guardian and protector of my soul and body, forgive me every transgression which I have committed this day. Deliver me from all evil influences and temptations, so that I may not anger my God by any sin. Pray for me that the Lord may make me worthy of His grace and to become partaker of His eternal Kingdom with the help of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of all the Saints. Amen."
St. Basil the Great says: "The angel will not retreat from us, unless we drive him away by our evil deeds."
For more in-depth info on angels, see the article compiled by Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes at http://fr-d-serfes.org/orthodox/angels.htm
St Theophan the Recluse Homily on Prayer
"...what the Angels and saints do in the heavens, we should learn to do on earth: get used to the angelic, unceasing standing before God in our hearts. Only he who reaches this state is a true man of prayer."