Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence


But the Lord is in his holy temple: let all the earth fear before him.
(Habakkuk 2:20)

LET all mortal flesh fall silent, and stand with fear and trembling; be mindful in himself of nothing of this earth, for the King of kings, the Lord of lords, cometh forth to be an offering, and to give to all the faithful His own self for heavenly food.

And before him tread choirs of angels, with every principality and power; the Cherubim with countless eyes, the six-winged Seraphim, veil their faces to the presence, and their voices rise in the hymn: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.


Σιγησάτω πᾶσα σάρξ βροτεία καὶ στήτω μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου, καὶ μηδὲν γήϊνον ἐν ἑαυτῇ λογιζέσθω· ὁ γὰρ βασιλεὺς τῶν βασιλευόντων καὶ Κύριος τῶν κυριευόντων προσέρχεται σφαγιασθῆναι καὶ δοθῆναι εἰς βρῶσιν τοῖς πιστοῖς·

προηγοῦνται δὲ τούτου οἱ χοροὶ τῶν ἀγγέλων μετὰ πάσης ἀρχῆς καὶ ἐξουσίας, τὰ πολυόμματα Χερουβίμ, καὶ τὰ ἑξαπτέρυγα σεραφὶμ τὰς ὄψεις καλύπτοντα, καὶ βοῶντα τὸν ὕμνον: ἀλληλούïα, ἀλληλούïα, ἀλληλούïα.

Sung in place of the Cherubic Hymn at the Liturgy of St Basil on Great Saturday.


Below is a translation of this hymn into verse, by G. Moultrie (1889-1925).

LET all mortal flesh keep silence,
And with fear and trembling stand;
Ponder nothing earthly minded,
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our God to earth descendeth,
Our full homage to demand.

King of kings, yet born of Mary,
As of old on earth He stood,
Lord of lords, in human vesture,
In the body and the blood;
He will give to all the faithful
His own self for heavenly food.

Rank on rank the host of heaven
Spreads its vanguard on the way,
As the Light of light descendeth
From the realms of endless day,
That the powers of hell may vanish
As the darkness clears away.

At His feet the six winged seraph,
Cherubim with sleepless eye,
Veil their faces to the presence,
As with ceaseless voice they cry:
Alleluia, Alleluia
Alleluia, Lord Most High!