More on the 2nd and 3rd Angelic Triad
The Virtues

Function and Philosophy

The virtues are ranked fifth in the heavenly host out of the nine choirs of angels. They are members of the second triad with dominations and powers. As a member of this triad, they take part in the duties given to the three choirs, namely the ordering of the universe. The virtues specifically preside over the elements of the world and the process of celestial life. Thus all heavenly bodies-from the stars and planets to the galaxies themselves-are kept in their divinely appointed routes and progress. On earth the angels maintain a watch over nature, marking and guiding every facet of natural life: rain, sow, wind, etc. It has also be speculated that Virtues are in charge of miracles.

As if these duties were not enough, the angels also assist humanity by stowing grace and valor within the mortal heart. They encourage humans to turn always to the good and help enhance the person's will to endure hardship and suffering and to have the personal strength to turn ever toward
God. As the angels in charge of miracles, they receive their orders from the powers, but they are also closely interlaced with the saints.

Members of this Angelic Choir:


The Principalities

Function and Philosophy

The Principalities are placed first in the third triad of angels among archangels and angels. They are ranked seventh overall. Also called princedoms and princes, these angels are the first of the choirs most concerned with earth and are traditionally declared to have roles of caretakers over every nation, province, county, district, city, town, village, and house.

They work with guardian angels who are also assigned to every spot and person. It is debated that the guardian angels function as the personal angelic protectors and the principalities are the administrative or technical writers. They are supposedly empowered with greater strength by God than the guardian angels and thus receive permission more frequently to have a direct involvement in the affairs of humanity. They use their incalculable strength of heaven to move the hearts and minds of those mortals with whom they have direct contact.


The symbols of principalities are the scepter, the cross, and the sword.

Members of this Angelic Choir:


The Angels & Archangels

Function and Philosophy

The ninth and final order of angels belongs to the third and final triad of choirs, their primary focus of their existence being the caretakership of humanity and the world. While the lowest ranked of all angelic beings-if one accepts the idea of a regulated angelic organization-angels are nevertheless members of the heavenly host and thus possess the profound and beautiful attributes given to them by their Creator. They are beings of pure spirituality and exist to fulfill the tasks given to them by God. Chief among these are to act as messengers of the Lord to the earth and guardians of the human soul.

The guardian angel is the angelic being supposedly assigned not only to every living soul, but to places, churches, and even nations. They proclaimed the birth of Christ and spoke to Abraham, Moses, and a host of other prophets and patriarchies in the Old Testament. It is precisely the the human that the members of the ninth choir are most often concerned with. They deliver new or word of impending destruction and woe. This is done through both physical and spiritual means. Angels also observe all of human history, perhaps recording every human act to provide a clear statement of the development of each soul.

In heaven angels provide valuable service, in proper fulfillment of their natures as purely spiritual beings and the will of the the Creator.

Members of this Angelic Choir:



Function and Philosophy

One of the accepted choirs of angels, Archangels are ranked eight: above angels and below principalities. In the division of the angelic hierarchy into three triads of three choirs each, the archangels belong to the third and lowest triad. The archangels are perhaps the most confusing of the angelic orders, for aside from being a distinct part of the heavenly host, their name is used frequently for virtually every angelic being superior to the ordinary angels.

Archangels are among the few angelic beings mentioned specifically by name in the Old Testament. Even more specific are references in the New Testament, such as the Letter of Jude (1:9): "But when the archangel Michael, contending with the devil, disputed about the body of Moses, he did not presume to pronounce a reviling judgment upon him, but said, 'The Lord rebuke you.'"

As is clear from their appearances in Scripture, the primary duty of the archangels is to carry out the will of God as it relates directly to humanity. They bring to the world the prayerful blessings of the Lord. It is for that reason that the archangels-like their close counterparts the angels-are said to intervene so regularly in the affairs of men and women.

Members of this Angelic Choir:

The number of archangels has long been a source of great discussion among angelologists. Traditionally there are seven archangels although who they are and what they do has been given variously in different sources. Islam recognizes only four archangels, and other customs say twelve. I have compiled the list of Dionysus and the Areopagite, which is the best-known list.