Exploring Angels

by Mary Ellen Vice

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As we approach September 29th, the feast of the Archangels and October 2rd, the feast of the Guardian Angels, I consider the significance of angels in our daily lives and in the life of the Church. The Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us that their existence is an 'truth of faith.' Item number 328 states, 'the witness of Scripture is as clear as the unanimity of Tradition.'

As a child, I prayed the 'Angels of God, my guardian dear' prayer. It must have brought my mother great comfort knowing that one of the Lord's angels wateched over me as I slept and during the day, while I went to school and played with my friends.

But when I grew towards adulthood, I stopped praying to my guardian angel. I all but forgot about him. My, how things change when you have children of your own! Through a group of wonderful women called 'Mothers in Christ' I found a copy of 'The Small Angel' by Michael O'Brien. Beside simply being the tale of a tiny angel who becomes a guardian angel and O'Brien's charming and consise pen and ink drawings, this delightful book contains the words to the angel of God prayer. It was like finding an old friend. I bought a copy and read the story to my children that night.

Recognizing and honouring our guardian angels is now a tradition in our household. Each one of the children knows that God has provided him (I have four boys) with a handpicked angel who protects him from harm. At bedtime, we say the litany of 'God bless Daddy, God bless Mommy...' then we say the 'Angel of God.' I bless the boys on their foreheads each night and say 'God bless you and keep you.'(Sigh of relief) It is a great comfort to me to know that God and his angels are taking good care of our treasures.

Books to Read

Baby Angels
by Jane Cowan-Fletcher (Illustrator)

Baby Angels Cover This book is perfect for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarten children. Its simple language is in friendly interesting rhyme, its exquisite drawings capture the children's interest.

get the book at amazon.com
Reading level: Baby-Preschool
Hardcover - 16 pages Board edition (November 1997) $4.19 at Amazon.com
Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours.
Candlewick Pr; ISBN: 0763604143

The Small Angel by Michael O'Brien

Small Angel Cover This book is a wonderful 'family read' for a family with small children. It takes about 25 minutes to read aloud, just right for evening story time, or it could be read over two nights.

get the book at amazon.com
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Paperback - 52 pages 1 Ed edition (June 1996) $7.95 + $1.35 at Amazon.com
Availability: This title usually ships within 24 hours.
White Horse Press; ISBN: 0969639120

Chicken Soup for the Kid's Soul : 101 Stories of Courage, Hope and Laughter Jack Canfield (Editor), Irene Dunlap, Muhammad Ali

Chicken Soup Cover The story "My Guardian Angel" by Travis Ebel aged 14 years, is wonderful and heartwarming.

get the book at amazon.com
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback - 398 pages (July 1998) $10.36 at Amazon.com
Availability: This title usually ships within 2-3 days.
Health Communications Audio; ISBN: 1558746099

amazon.com Find Other Books About:

Children's Songs & Fingerplays by Wee Sing

get the book at amazon.com
Audio CD (September 15, 1998) $11.49 at Amazon.com
Price Stern Sloan; ASIN: B00000DCKB

Songs to Sing

Angels Watching Over Me, My Lord - a traditional bible, Negro spiritual:

All night, all day,
Angels watching over me, my Lord.
All night, all day,
Angels watching over me.

Angels We Have Heard on High - the English translation of the French traditional Christmas hymn. For lyrics, click here.

Standing on Holy Ground - words and music by Geron Davis, found in Holy Is The Lord song book (a tape and songbook series from Stuebenville Franciscan University)

We are standing on Holy ground,
and I know that there are angels gathered round
Let us praise, Jesus now;
We are standing in His presence on Holy ground.

We are standing on Holy ground.
And I know that there are angels gathering round.
Let us praise, Jesus now;
We are standing in Your presence,
We are standing in Your presence,
We are standing in Your presence, on Holy ground.

What a Mighty God - author unknown, also found in Holy is the Lord, a easy to learn catchy tune, children love it:

What a mighty God we serve,
What a mighty God we serve.
Angels bow before Him,
Heav'n and earth adore Him,
What a mighty God we serve.

Fun Things to Do:

Language Arts:

For all ages:

Brainstorm what jobs angels perform, and have performed:

  • following a child as he walks along a shoreline (or other familiar, potentailly dangerous places)
  • delivering messages to people
  • closing the Graden of Eden
  • announcing the birth of Jesus to the shepherds
  • protecting Lot
  • saving Hagar and her child
  • holding back Abraham's hand

If you met an angel, and could speak to him, what questions would you ask? Write them down, think of some possible answers.

Say the Angel of God prayer. Practice it each night until you know it by heart. Add it to your evening prayers.

Sing 'Angels Watching Over Me' while lying in bed. Add actions.

Age 8 and up:

Write a job description for an angel. A good source of information is the Catechism of the Catholic church, the section entitled Angels.

Age 9 and up:

Do some research or assign a research project about angels in Scripture. What else have they done in the course of history? Explain. Give specific references.

Create a 'want-ad' for a newspaper, position of guardian angel available.


Read The Small Angel by M. O'Brien. Follow it up with these activities.

  • Pretend you are an Angel
  • flying through the clouds
  • having a nap on a cloud
  • dusting and fluffing up the clouds
  • polishing stars
  • growing and brushing your wings
  • playing a game of tag with the other angels
  • trying to walk across clouds
  • walking while growing wings, lifting up and plopping down
  • playing music on a long trumper, bells, drum, or harp
  • fighting the bad angels, sword in hand
  • following a child, on the bus, at school, in the yard, alone in the wooks, climbing rocks on a shoreline, swimming, anyplace or situation you'd like to pretend.

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