Cantatas, Anthems, & Ballet Music by Thomas Byron Parks
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The Cherubic Hymn
Response or Anthem for A Cappella SATB
Music � 2008 Thomas Byron Parks
Click here to hear music as MP3
This has not been sung,, so instruments are used for
voices. (MIDI String Ensemble 2 for SATB)
If you use it, please send me a recording that I may
use on this site, and for seeking publication.
~ The Lyrics ~
mystically represent the Cherubim,
and sing to the life-giving
Trinity the thrice-holy hymn,
let us now lay aside all earthly
that we may receive the King of
who comes invisibly upborne by the
Cherubic Hymn is the primary cherubikon, or song of the angels, sung
during every Divine Liturgy of the year except those of Holy Thursday
and Holy Saturday. It occurs after the Gospel reading and is
interrupted by the Great Entrance. The Cherubic Hymn was added to the
Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom by order of the Emperor Justinian near
the end of the sixth century.
In singing the Cherubic Hymn, we are
asked to lay "aside all earthly care that we may receive the King of
all" (Matt 24:44). We are asked to leave this temporary world so that
we may make the "great entrance" with Christ into His Kingdom.
Cherubim are a type of angel usually
involved in sacred work before God. They are generally described as
winged creatures with feet and hands. The word(s) occurs over 90 times
in the Old Testament and once in the New Testament at Heb. 9:5, "And
above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat; but
of these things we cannot now speak in detail."
The use of the word Alleluia in the
Liturgy is also a very old inheritance from the Synagogue. It became a
cry of joy without much reference to its exact meaning in a language no
longer understood (as did Hosanna). Its place in the Liturgy varied
considerably. In the Byzantine Rite it comes as the climax of the
Cherubic Hymn at the Great Entrance.
it may be literally rendered, "All
hail to Him Who is!"--taking "All Hail" as equivalent to "Glory in the
Highest," and taking "Who is" in the sense in which God said to Moses:
"Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel; WHO IS hath sent me to
you.” It belonged, as a
divinely authorized doxology, to the Hebrew liturgy from the beginning.
Finally let me say, the great Russian
composers mostly did very much longer versions of this...and sometimes
part harmony. I wrote a
shorter version in four part harmony which may be mote accessable to
The Cherubic Hymn scores of
Archangelsky, Bortniansky, Chesnokov, Gretchaninov, Konstantinov,
Lomakin, and Lvovsky, check out: