The name "angel" means "messenger", for the angels announced to the people the will of God. But angels are not only messengers, but also singers, regents of the heavenly world. Song - the harmony of sounds and words, thoughts and feelings. A song is an exclamation from the depths of the heart. From the excess of the heart the mouth speaks (Mt.12, 34), and from the surplus of the heart the mouth is sung. The angels have an abundance of blessings, the fullness of heavenly joy. And people sing when they are happy, or when they want to disperse anguish to regain their joy. Angels sing because they can not help singing.
Singing angels is the rejoicing of Heaven. Angels in heaven always see the face of the Heavenly Father (Matthew 18, 10), Angels are always with God, but can not those who are with God rejoice? And our earthly joys are expressed in singing. But our singing, even the most inspired, is only a faint shadow of joy in Heaven.
In the Old Testament, the angels did not sing. More precisely, the Lord did not encourage people to hear the angelic singing. For how will he hear the one who is spiritually deaf, how will he understand the harmony of Heaven, who is used only to "boring songs of the earth" according to Lermontov?
Only to the righteous long-suffering Job, the Lord Himself revealed the mystery: When the stars were created, praising Mya with the voice of all my angels (Job 38, 7) - the joy of life, the joy of life, the angels met with a wonderful chorus of the thanksgiving of God. Moreover, the prophet Isaiah contemplated the highest angelic rank - the seraphim, who stood before the majestic throne of God: They cried to each other and said: Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts! the whole earth is full of His glory! (Isaiah 6, 3).
In the Old Testament, the Angels showed people their unapproachable greatness and superior power. The Cherub with a fiery sword was threateningly guarding the Paradise for the people (Gen. 3, 24). The angel of the Lord in one night killed 185 thousand Assyrians besieging Jerusalem (4 19 35). And even the archangel Gabriel, struck by the dumbness of the priest Zacharias, acted according to the rules of the Old Testament - it was only the threshold of the New Testament.
And only when Christ was born, when the learned magicians followed the wonderful star, and the simple shepherds guarded the herd of meek sheep, the angelic singing illumined our earthly, long-distance world with a wonderful glorification: Glory to God in the highest and earth to the earth, goodwill in people. God became man, Heaven appeared on earth, and therefore people become related to angels. What man is that you remember him, and the son of man, that you visit him? Little did You diminish him before the angels: he crowned him with glory and honor (Psalm 8, 5-6). The whole point of the Christian life is that we are where the angels are now. There is joy in the angels of God and about one sinner repenting (Luke 15, 10). That's why in the New Testament, the angels sing for the pure-hearted people, but the people gave the Lord the opportunity to speak with angelic tongues.
But angelic singing is not just a matter of the holy lines of Scripture. The Holy Scripture is given to us for life, and the angels reveal themselves in the lives of people. Saint Ignatius the God-bearer († 107) in the vision contemplated the angelic choirs, singing in the antiphons the Most Holy Trinity, and in the likeness of the angels introduced antiphonal singing in the Antiochian Church. In the 5th century, during the earthquake in Constantinople, people gathered for general prayer. According to legend, one boy was invisibly lifted to heaven, then he returned and told that he heard the angels sing: Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal. The people, repeating this prayer, added: "Have mercy on us," and the earthquake stopped.
Angelic singing is given as a consolation, as evidence that our heavenly protectors are near us. They are accomplices in Divine services, and they are singers of the wonderful Providence of God.
That's what happened in our Nikolo-Ugreshsky monastery, associated with the Monk Pimen Ugreshsky. Actually, the Reverend Pimen himself, having come to the monastery in 1834-th year, heard angelic singing in the Assumption Church. This was reflected in the akathistos dedicated to him:
Rejoice, having arrived at the Ugresh monastery, the angelic singing is heard.
Rejoice, this singing, like grace, is preserved until death in the heart.
At the very end of the XX - beginning of the XXI century, the monastery's inhabitants collected information for the canonization of Archimandrite Pimen. And in one of the buildings of the monastery that belonged to the city at the time, there was a dry old woman. Her name was Olga Ivanovna Zhukova. The monastery was still filled with the brotherhood, the buildings were transferred to the monastery gradually. It so happened that right behind the wall of Olga's apartment lay the cell of the hegumen Varfolomey, now the governor of the Ugresh monastery. Father Bartholomew was invited to Olga Ivanovna, he confessed it and communicated. She talked about her life and shared her memories from early childhood, which she then repeated under the audio recording. These data were extremely important for the general church glorification of the Monk Pimen. Actually, Olga Ivanovna only in simplicity conveyed her childhood impressions, which crashed into her memory and were preserved for life. As a small child, she often came to the grave of the Monk Pimen and heard there a wonderful, amazing, unearthly singing, but due to her age she could not explain it, told to adults, and they brushed it away. Many decades have passed since then. Olga Ivanovna dried herself up like a mummy, she said: "My death has lost its way." But as soon as she told the brethren of the monastery about the angelic singing on the grave of the Monk Pimen, so soon died. The Lord did not allow her to go on to eternity until she handed her testimony of angelic singing to those who were able to receive.
It so happened that the Monk Pimen heard the singing of angels, when he arrived at the Nikolo-Ugresh monastery, and on the site of his own burial heard the same singing. Now there stands a temple dedicated to the Reverend Pimen - a place where angels invisibly present and chant God.
Angelic singing can not be conveyed with the help of human descriptions, the known scale and earth phonetics. It is impossible to write it down to audio, for the singing of angels is not the action of vocal cords, not the vibration of air that the dictophone catches, but the spiritual voice, which is by the will of God's people, and even that is very rare. We are careful of falsifications, which are a dime a dozen on the Internet.
Recently, on theological courses, we discussed the topic of the angels. Someone mentioned that on Mount Athos they allegedly recorded angelic singing. But when acquainted with the record it became clear that this singing has nothing to do with angels. The recording feels human passion and harshness, an unpleasant feeling remains on the soul, how can the sounds of Heaven be like that?
People are given to hear the angelic singing when they do not specifically expect it. If the singing comes from the Heavenly Kingdom, then this can not leave anyone indifferent or make an unpleasant impression. Paradise attracts the soul so that the passions fade away and the soul itself is filled with unearthly harmony, experiencing graceful joy and consolation. And if someone runs after a dictaphone, then he loses contemplation, because all his attention is turned to the earthly.
When we discussed this topic, one of our listeners, Elena, decided to share the story from her life. She did not tell anyone about this for many years, and only the topic raised at the lecture prompted her to tell what had happened to her. In 2008-th year, she went with a thirteen-year-old son Nikita on a pilgrimage trip to Sinai. There are many such trips and excursions in our days, and the goal is to visit, among other sacred places, the very summit of Sinai, where, according to legend, God revealed Himself to Moses, and now there is the Holy Trinity Church.
The Bedouins, accompanying the group, allotted camels for all participants to climb the mountain. When Elena sat down on her camel, then she started an allergy attack. She has long suffered from an allergy, which has already acquired the character of an asthmatic. The other members of the group, seeing her condition, said discontentedly: "Why did not you take the medicine with you?" She excused herself: "I did not know that I was going to have a camel allergy." Elena gasped and coughed, riding on a camel became impossible in principle, and she decided to get to the top of the mountain with her son alone on foot, while the rest of the group went camels on another footpath suitable for the animals.
The path ran along the path to the sky, soon it was dark, the bottomless sky spread out its wide tent. But, as if in spite of all this beauty and the silence of the boundless sky, the allergic attack did not pass, Elena walked and was tormented. So they passed half way, and Elena felt that she could no longer. She stopped, gasped, understood that she could not go upstairs again, and she said to her son: "Son, I can not go any further, go on alone, and I'll somehow quietly go down." When she finally reconciled, Nikita suddenly said: "Mom, so we almost came, the temple is near, you hear the singing is heard." She listened and also heard. It was singing, clearly referring to the Divine service, but somehow very special, it could not convey later. Singing attracted to itself, infused in the soul warmth and peace. And yet, my heart so wanted to be where it was singing, that Elena and her son immediately got up and hurried upstairs, as if there was no fatigue. She did not even notice how the allergy attack had disappeared, as if he were not there. Before the temple was not as close as they thought, but a wonderful singing poured in them strength, soon enough they climbed to the temple, ahead of the group that climbed the camels. They so wanted to be there, where the singing was coming from, that they did not just enter the temple, but literally broke in and were amazed by the silence that reigned there, there was no service, and the singing was no longer heard.
Not healing from the attack of allergy is preserved in Elena's memory, but first of all the paradise song, in comparison with which earthly pleasures and pleasures fade and which shows only one thing: man's happiness is only in God.
Why someone is given a sign, but someone is not - a difficult question. But it is true one thing - in any temple there are angels, they sang God and become close to a humble soul. When we enter the sacred vaults of the Orthodox church, let us remember that here again the angels sing: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, goodwill in people.