Thursday, May 31, 2018

Christian Worship in the Sanctuary : The Holy Sphere Where Heaven and Earth Meet

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We did not know where we were, on heaven or on earth..
We only know that God dwells there among men.
Russian Ambassadors (987), in a report to Prince Vladimir of Kiev, 
upon attending a service at the Hagia Sophia cathedral in Constantinople

Now the heavenly host is with us,
And the sun now exults in the sky,
In the azure-blue domes of the temple
Clouds of incense slowly drift by.

Now the King in His splendor and glory
Through the Royal Doors enters unseen.
Our mortal lips offer Him worship,
And with us sing the great Cherubim.

O come, all ye loving and faithful,
Let us prostrate ourselves before Him
So that we may find Christ’s sacred image
In our grey, mournful daily routine.

Now the heavenly host is with us,
And eternally spring does appear.
O, do gaze at life with eyes enlightened:
The perspective of life is so clear!

Now the heavenly host becomes visible
And amidst us the Lord passes through.
The great Cherubim now sing among us,
And the soul becomes peaceful anew.

- V. Utrenev, Now the heavenly host is with us,
translated by Natalia Sheniloff (source)