2. THE CHERUBIC HYMN AND THE GREAT ENTRANCE
2a. A HORNET'S NET
The Divine Liturgy is a holy drama: it is a representation of all the mystical, saving works of God. He who follows the Divine Liturgy from beginning to end attentively, hears and sees marvelous things.
Before the Great Entrance, the cantor chants the Cherubic Hymn which is the work of a pious emperor of Byzantium. The Hymn says that in this hour we are getting ready to receive the King of all like the angels and archangels in attendance, so let us be very careful. Not only our body must be present, but more especially, our soul. All our thoughts must be directed towards Christ. We should not allow any other thought to disturb us. We must pay attention to our Church’s strong exhortation: “Let us put away all worldly care”.
The Divine Liturgy is like a radio station from heaven, on which the voice of God is heard. It is like a television of heaven, in which the sweet face of our Lord Jesus Christ is seen. If we believe that Christ Himself speaks, appears and communicates through the Divine Liturgy, then it is necessary that all our attention be directed towards it. Everything inside ourselves must be silent. Only Christ must be heard and seen.
But does this happen? Are our thoughts with Christ at the time when the Cherubic hymn is chanted? Unfortunately, that is the time our thoughts fly away and go to different persons and things. At this time, a curious spiritual phenomenon can be observed, which shows how satan tries to detach our hearts from Christ. A variety of thoughts occur. Inside the sacred hall of the church everyone seeks to solve the problems which bother him and his thoughts wander outside the church. The entire week has 168 hours, and we cannot or do not want to dedicate ourselves to Christ for even one.
Cares of life continue to bother us even during the Divine Liturgy. Thoughts surround us like hornets that sting and bother us. But as people torch and burn the nests, so we must find a way to remove from our consciousness these vain thoughts. We must destroy them and burn their nests.
Fire is needed, a burning love for Christ. Because when this kind of fire is kindled in the heart, then during the time of the Divine Liturgy no mundane thoughts and cares will have any place there. The person of our beloved Christ will attract us so much that we will not have eyes and ears to see and hear anything else but Him. And that way we will fulfill the exhortation of the Church: “Let us put away all worldly cares, so that we may receive the King of all”.