Let begin by debunking a myth that seems to do the rounds especially when someone dies. People do not become angels when they die! People are not suddenly given wings and float around clouds playing harps!
So what are angels?
An angel is a pure spirit created by God. The Old Testament theology included the belief in angels: the name applied to certain spiritual beings or intelligences of heavenly residence, employed by God as the ministers of His will.
The English word "angel" comes from the Greek angelos, which means 'messenger'. In the Old Testament, with two exceptions, the Hebrew word for "angel" is malak, also meaning 'messenger'. The prophet Malachi took his name from this word. He was himself a messenger, and he prophesied about the coming of "the messenger of the covenant", Jesus Christ.
Suprisingly we know quite a lot about angels, some even have names. Like the ones we celebrate today.
Michael – “who is like God” - the great Warrior angel who we hear about in the book of the Revelation.
Raphael – the healer – who we find about in the lovely book of Tobit.
Gabriel – the one who brings the message of the Coming of the Messiah to Mary.
We are also told that it is the Angels who worship God continually before his face. We have a foretaste of this in our own worship at Mass – If you want to find a biblical picture of the Mass – read the book of Revelation.
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