Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence - 4th Century Hymn
Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence, is an ancient Eucharistic Hymn which was written around the 4th century. The original was composed in Greek as a Cherubic Hymn for the Offertory of the Divine Liturgy of St. James in the Eastern Catholic Church.
Read the lyrics below and see how it really leads you into contemplating the great Divine Mystery of the Incarnation of Christ, musically painting the image of His Mission of Love to save us, and sanctify us!
Christ is born to be sacrificed and to become our Eucharistic food! Alleluia!
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!
Here is one version to listen to by Benedictine nuns, https://youtu.be/jVTg0p3uiS4
And another here with instruments and voices, https://youtu.be/6G-9ksdnruw
For those interested in some of the older languages it was written in see below:
Greek text used in the Byzantine Divine Liturgy (Orthodox or Eastern Rite Catholic)
Ancient Greek: Σιγησάτω πᾶσα σάρξ βροτεία, καὶ στήτω μετὰ φόβου καὶ τρόμου, καὶ μηδὲν γήϊνον ἐν ἑαυτῇ λογιζέσθω· ὁ γὰρ Βασιλεῦς 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 Σεραφίμ, τὰς ὄψεις καλύπτοντα, καὶ βοῶντα τὸν ὕμνον· Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα, Ἀλληλούϊα.
Latin text used in Western Orthodox rites:
Sileat omnis caro mortalis et stet cum timore et tremore neve quidquam terrestre in se meditetur. Rex enim regnantium, Christus Deus noster, prodit ut mactetur deturque in escam fidelibus, praecedunt autem hunc chori angelorum cum omni principatu et potestate, cherubim multis oculis et seraphim sex alis praedita, facies velantia et vociferantia hymnum, alleluia.
English translation of the Greek text used in the Byzantine Liturgy
Let all mortal flesh keep silent, and stand with fear and trembling, and in itself consider nothing earthly; for the King of kings and Lord of lords cometh forth to be sacrificed, and given as food to the believers; and there go before Him the choirs of Angels, with every Dominion and Power, the many-eyed Cherubim and the six-winged Seraphim, covering their faces, and crying out the hymn: Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia.