THE CHERUBIC HYMN


Let us, who mystically represent (μυστικῶς εἰκονίζοντες, mystically being icons of) the Cherubim and who sing the thrice-holy hymn to the life-creating Trinity, now lay aside every worldly care. So that we may receive (ὑποδεξόμενοι) the King of all, Who is invisibly escorted by the angelic hosts. Alleluia. Alleluia. Alleluia.” (Cherubic Hymn, Byzantine Divine Liturgy)

What is the “point,” one might ask, of likening ourselves to God’s invisible, bodiless creation, like the Cherubim and the angelic hosts? The point is, to re-affirm our unity with “all” of God’s creation, both visible and invisible, and give us a broader frame of reference than our merely-human one. In Christ’s One Body we’re given a “bigger picture,” extending above and beyond our time and space, and this “bigger picture” helps us, in practical terms, to “lay aside every earthly care” that we may “receive,” and be received by, “the King of all” in peace.

Let me let that happen at Divine Liturgy. Let me open my heart to the life-giving actions and words offered to us and by us, as “we” escort the King of all, both visibly and invisibly.

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