LIFT up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the king of glory shall come in. Who is this king of glory? The Lord of hosts, he is this king of glory.
Psalm 23:9-10 LXX
The Cherubic Hymn
Old Bulgarian Chant, sung by the Optina Choir.
WE who stand as mystical images of the Cherubim,
and sing unto the Life-Giving Trinity the thrice-holy hymn,
let us now lay aside all earthly cares
that we may receive the King of all,
attended beyond our sight by angel hosts.
Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.
THIS mystery turns earth into heaven for you.
Just prise open the gates of heaven, and peer within (or rather, not of heaven, but the the heaven of heavens), and you will see there what I am talking about.
For what I shall show you lying here on earth, is there the thing more precious than everything else.
What is most revered in royal palaces is not the walls, or golden roofs, but the physical person [lit. body] of the King, sitting on the throne. The physical person of the King is the most revered thing in heaven too.
But this is what you are now permitted to see on earth!
I am not showing you angels, or archangels, or the heavens or the heaven of heavens, but I am showing you him, the Master of them all.
Do you see, how you are looking, on earth, at what is more precious than everything else?
And not just seeing it, but getting to touch it. And not just getting to touch it, but eating it.
St John Chrysostom, Homilies on St Paul’s Letters to the Corinthians, No. XIV (on 1 Cor 10:14). My translation, from Migne. Compare CCEL.