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The mighty archangel Uriel is one of the four main archangels within traditional Judeo Christian scripture. The angel's name in Hebrew can be translated to mean "The Light Of God", or "My Light Is God". What's interesting is that the first vowel within the angel's ancient Jewish name has been the source of a lot of debate within some theological academic circles. Some claim the actual name begins with a "U", while other scholars claim that it is actually an "A", as in Ariel. Within the ancient literature known as the apocryphal 4 Esdras, Saint Ambrose the bishop of Milan addresses the archangel Uriel with the traditional "U", while in other ancient and now noncanonical scripture, the angel is addressed as Ariel. So with that point in mind, do be aware that you might come across the angel Uriel's name spelled as Ariel, however in these cases they are obviously addressing or discussing the same heavenly being, regardless of the spelling variation.

With regard to the archangel's heavenly or spiritual role, Uriel is primarily the angel who guides the deceased during the Last Judgment. As mentioned above, the angel's name means "The Light Of God", and this has drawn a connection between the angel and the "Raging Fire Of God's Judgment". Another role or heavenly duty that the archangel is thought to be responsible for, is as the watcher of the South. Uriel is regarded as an angel with very deep ties to the Earth and humanity, whereas some of the other archangels primarily fulfil duties in heaven. Within noncanonical literature and various Kabbalistic or occult works, the angel Uriel is often confused with other spiritual or Biblical characters, such as Nuriel, Sariel, Jeremiel, Israfel, Phanuel, Vretil, and many others. Due to this literary confusion, you will often come across attributes or stories attributed to the archangel Uriel that are not factually correct, or are heavily flawed.

On the subject of Uriel within the three Abrahamic religions, the angel has had sort of a turbulent journey. This is largely due to the fact that many old and now noncanonical scripture refers to archangels without naming them specifically, causing much confusion with regard to who is who. As a result both Islam and Judaism do not officially recognize the archangel Uriel, and within Christianity he's only recognized in the Eastern Orthodox and Catholic church. The Roman Catholic Church however seems to have lost its official position on the angel, with certain Catholic scholars claiming that much of the literature that originally names Uriel, has long since been categorized as not being divinely inspired. There are also some concerns within the Catholic church that Uriel may have been associated or derived from angel worshipping cults that existed at the time of the Apostles, as mentioned in Colossians Chapter 2, verses18 through19.

In art Uriel appears often in early Byzantine and Roman Catholic era works, usually together with the archangels Michael, Gabriel and Raphael. The reason for the frequent representation of Uriel in Christian art until the early Middle Ages, is that along Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, these four archangels were considered to be of the Seraphim class of angels, though obviously this view was not universal at the time. In many of the works of art, you can see these four archangels surrounding the throne of God, usually with God in the center, or slightly elevated above the four. Throughout the many centuries this notion was eventually disputed and officially discredited by all of the Christian churches, however much of the art still remains to this very day. In fact many contemporary occult or New Age angel movements still associate these four archangels with the Seraphim class of angels, and this can be seen often in their art and literature.
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