Thursday, January 4, 2018
“Seraph (and) cherubim…veil their faces to the Presence as with ceaseless voice they cry, ‘Alleluia.’”
Carol: “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” – Fifteenth Century
Many of you know that I collect Mickeys, Magi and Angels. I have slowed my angel-collecting since it has become trendy to do so; remember the words rebel and southerner are almost synonymous! Because I have several seraphim and cherubim sitting on shelves around the house, this hymnline may be more significant to me than it is to others.
Today we consider one of the holiest hymnlines ever penned (translated). It is definitely one of those “picture this” phrases. In the Presence, even angels cover their faces and voice their praises. While an obvious allusion to Isaiah’s sixth-chapter experience, these words set to this haunting melody conjure up a warming, hair-on-the-arm-raising reaction (as opposed to arm-raising!). I never sing or hear this without putting myself in their place – standing (or flying) before the very form of the Almighty, now shaped as a human. The melismatic “alleluia” rolls from the lips of the winged messengers, and I have no recourse but to join them… and my mortal silence is broken.
Fernando Ortego Sings This Carol
I love Cynthia Clawson’s version of this, but can’t find it online to share with you. Visit www.cynthiaclawson.com and buy the CAROLSINGER album!!!