Explanation and Hierarchy of the 9 Choirs of Angels [Infographic]

Angels are my favorite topic for my art. My personal connection with them extends through the majority of my life, and I can’t help but speak about them often in teaching presentations.  I had a difficult time finding a visuals that explains the choir of angels in a digestible format, and I decided to make a make my own summarized graphic to use in presentations.

Whenever we talk about heavenly beings, it’s impossible to describe completely by our earthly standards. I used a few objects and only the wings to depict the notable characteristics of the different angel choirs. Angels are completely spiritual beings, making them so different from another angel that it could be considered its own species. This infographic explains their unique roles and characteristics.

A person shouldn’t consider themselves an educated Catholic unless they know the nine choirs.

– St Bonaventure (Paraphrasing)


9ChoirsofAngels-Infographic

Hierarchy of the 9 Choirs of Angels

Explanation of the 9 Choirs of Angels

1 Seraphim

Name means the burning ones, and they are Attendants at the Throne of God. They praise God singing, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord of Hosts!” (Isaiah 6:1-7)

2. Cherubim

Name means the Fullness of Wisdom, and theyContemplate God’s providence. Assigned to protect special places. (Exodus 25:18-21; Ezekiel 10:14; Revelation 4-6)

3. Thrones

Represent the steadfastness of the love of God. The contemplate God’s power and judgment, and they appear as the most unlike the others when revealed. (Ezekiel 10:17; Colossians 1:16; Daniel 7:9)

4. Dominions

Lord over the lower choirs and humanity. They take illumination from the higher hierarchies and govern the universe. (Ephesians 1:21; Colossians 1:16)

5. Virtues

Run the operation of movement in the universe. They are often associated with planets, elements, seasons, and nature. (Ephesians 1:21)

6. Powers

Assist in governing the natural order. They are warrior angels tasked with fighting the war against the demonic choirs. (Ephesians 1:21, Ephesians 6:12)

7. Principalities

Princes of the lowest triad assigned to care and guard communities, kingdoms, states, and parishes. They are associated with transitions in power. (Ephesians 3:10, Ephesians 1:21)

8. Archangels

Leader angels assigned to communicate and carryout God’s important plans for man. Michael, Gabriel, and Rafael are the only 3 names we know. (Jude 9, 1 Thessalonians 4:16, The book of Tobit)

9. Angels

Angels are closest to the material world and humanity. The lowest choir is where we get the majority of our personal guardian angels. (Luke 22:43, Matthew 18:10, Hebrews 13:2)

*Angels are symbolically depicted with wings, but they are purely spiritual beings that do not have a physical body. They can take on the appearance of man to better communicate with humans.

Sources: Sacred Scripture, The Celestial Hierarchy -Pseudo-Dionysius, and Summa Theologiae – Thomas Aquinas


Protection of the WarriorHappy Feasts of the Angels

September 29 – Feast of the Archangels
October 2 – Memorial of the Guardian Angels

Who Is Like GodPrayer to St Michael

Saint Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the Devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly hosts,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan, and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Prayer to St GabrielRafael the Archangel

Saint Gabriel, the Archangel, We humbly ask you to intercede for us at the throne of divine mercy. As you announced the mystery of the Incarnation to the Blessed Virgin Mary, so through your prayers may we receive strength of faith and courage of spirit, and thus find favor with God and redemption through Christ Our Lord. May we sing the praise of God our Savior with the angels and saints in heaven forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer to St GabrielGod has shown himself mighty

Saint Raphael, the Archangel, Help us in all the needs and trials and the journey of this earthly life, as you, through the power of God, didst restore sight and gave guidance to young Tobit. We humbly seek your aid and intercession, that our souls may be healed, our bodies protected from all ills, and that through divine grace we may become fit to dwell in the eternal Glory of God in heaven. Amen.

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