Your blessing Father Christopher,
Among the evening prayers used by the Russian church there is a special
one addressed to the Holy Guardian Angel. My question concerns the
"O Angel of Christ, my holy guardian and protector of my soul and body,
forgive me all wherein I have sinned this day, and deliver me from all
opposing evil of my enemy lest I anger my God by any sin."
Can an angel forgive sins? (I refer to any sin)
With love in Christ
Answer to Question 104.
The prayer you mention is also among the prayers of Small Compline (ΜΙΚΡΟΝ
ΑΠΟΔΕΙΠΝΟΝ) of the Greek Church but I think the translation that you
have is not correct.
We pray to our guardian angel because we believe that each and every one
of us has been assigned by God an angel whose mission it is to help,
protect and guide us on the road to salvation. When we sin we not only
turn our back to God, but also to our guardian angel whose guidance we
ignore and by doing so grieve and offend him. It is therefore only
natural and right that we should ask his forgiveness for the grief we
have caused him. The prayer therefore is not a plea for forgiveness of
all our sins against God, but only the sins we have committed against
our guardian angel.
My translation from the Greek of the lines you mention is as follows:
"Yea, O Holy Angel of God, guardian and protector of my wretched soul
and body; forgive me all, however many times I have grieved thee all the
days of my life, and whatever sins I have committed this day."
You ask: "Can an angel forgive sins? (I refer to any sin)".
You are either reading the prayer wrongly or the translation is
completely off the mark. The "any sin" you mention is from the following
line of the prayer which reads: "Shelter me this night and preserve me
from every influence of the adversary: that I may not anger God by any
sin." The prayer is not asking the angel to forgive me of any sin". We
are asking our guardian angel to protect us during the night from the
influences of the devil so that we do not fall into sin and thereby
offend and anger God with sins committed during the night.
Below is the Greek prayer to the Guardian Angel and also my translation
of the prayer.
With love in Christ