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With the Host of Angels We Cry, “Holy”

During this Year of Faith, we will blog reflections and stories to accompany you on your faith journey.
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts…the whole earth is full of his glory!” – Isaiah 6:3
When I was in the first grade, my teacher, Sr. Placida, explained that we each had a guardian angel to protect and guide us. She instructed us, “Sit to one side of your seat and make room for your guardian angel.” In Sacred Scripture, angels are God’s messengers and are part of God’s heavenly court. For me, sharing my seat with my guardian angel made God seem very near.
The angels seem near to Isaiah, too. Unlike any other prophet, he receives his prophetic call in a vision during temple worship
(Isaiah 6:1-9).
The temple is transformed into God’s holy court and is filled with a “host” of angels singing the threefold “holy.” The majestic nature of the liturgical drama that unfolds invokes a sense of praise and makes clear the sacredness and nearness of God.
Join in the angels’ exultation
The cry of the Seraphim in Isaiah’s vision provides the text of the Sanctus, the acclamation in which we join our voices “with angels and archangels and the company of saints” at the celebration of the Eucharist.
The words of the Sanctus have been “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of power and might.” In the new edition of the Roman Missal, the words are “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts,” a more literal translation of the original Latin text and more faithful to the text of Isaiah 6:3.
Go out, surrounded by angels
Liturgical worship at its best engages our senses and creates an environment that moves us to a deeper awareness of the sacred presence of God. Isaiah felt the temple shake as he heard the voice of God: “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” “Here I am,” Isaiah answered, “send me!”
The host of angels surrounds us in liturgy and in life. The world is dynamic, energized, and filled with the glory of God.
Every time we gather for Mass, we sing in unison with the host of angels and are commissioned like Isaiah to go out into the world, newly confident that God is near and will send angels to protect, guide, and support us.
Suggestions for Prayer:
– Conscious of the host of angels that surrounds you, join them in praying, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts. Heaven and earth are full of your glory.”
– Reflect on a time when you sensed that God sent an angel to protect, guide, or support you. Give God thanks.
Reprinted with permission from Living with Christ. For more information or to subscribe, visit or call 1-800-214-3386.
Sr. Terry is the Executive Director of RENEW International and a Dominican Sister from Blauvelt, NY.

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