Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

View this hymn using FlexPresent: Hymnary.org's free tool provides this hymn's music notationand lyrics synchronized with its audio

Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand

Paraphraser: Gerard Moultrie (1864)
Communion Liturgy
Published in 162 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Playable presentation: Lyrics only, lyrics + music
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Song available on My.Hymnary

Representative Text

1 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 descending,
comes our homage to command.

2 King of kings, yet born of Mary,
as of old on earth he stood,
Lord of lords in human likeness,
in the body and the blood
he will give to all the faithful
his own self for heav’nly food.

3 Rank on rank the host of heaven
spreads its vanguard on the way
as the Light from Light, descending
from the realms of endless day,
comes the pow’rs of hell to vanquish
as the darkness clears away.

4 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!”

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #672

Paraphraser: Gerard Moultrie

Moultrie, Gerard, M.A., son of the Rev. John Moultrie, was born at Rugby Rectory, Sept. 16, 1829, and educated at Rugby and Exeter College, Oxford (B.A. 1851, M.A. 1856). Taking Holy Orders, he became Third Master and Chaplain in Shrewsbury School; Chaplain to the Dowager Marchioness of Londonderry, 1855-59; curate of Brightwaltham, 1859; and of Brinfield, Berks, 1860; Chaplain of the Donative of Barrow Gurney, Bristol, 1864: Vicar of Southleigh, 1869, and Warden of St. James's College, Southleigh,1873. He died April 25, 1885. His publications include: 1) The Primer set forth at large for the use of the Faithful. In Family and Private Prayer. Edited from the Post Reformation editions, 1864. (2) Hymns and Lyrics for the Seasons and Saint… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Let all mortal flesh keep silence, and with fear and trembling stand
Title: Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
Greek Title: Σιϒησάτω πδσα Σάρξ βροτЄία
Paraphraser: Gerard Moultrie (1864)
Source: Liturgy of St James
Language: English
Copyright: Public Domain
Liturgical Uses: Communion Liturgy, Communion Songs


Scripture References:
st. 1 = Hab. 2:20,Zech. 2:13
st. 2 = Rev. 19:16,Luke 22:19-20
st. 3 = Matt. 16:27
st.4 = Isa. 6:2-3

Evidence suggests that the Greek text of "Let All Mortal Flesh" may date back to the fifth century. The present text is from the Liturgy of St. James, a Syrian rite thought to have been written by St. James the Less, first Bishop of Jerusalem. It is based on a prayer chanted by the priest when the bread and wine are brought to the table of the Lord.

The text expresses awe at Christ's coming (st. 1) and the mystery of our perception of Christ in the body and blood (st. 2). With images from Isaiah 6 and Revelation 5, it portrays the glory of Christ (sung to by angels) and his victory over sin (st. 3-4). Although it has eucharistic emphasis, the text pictures the nativity of Christ in a majestic manner and in a much larger context than just his birth in Bethlehem. We are drawn into the awe and mystery with our own alleluias."

Gerard Moultrie (b. Rugby, Warnickshire, England, 1829; d. Southleigh, England, 1885) translated the text from the Greek; his English paraphrase was first published in Orby Shipley's Lyra Eucharistica (1864) and entitled "Prayer of the Cherubic Hymn." The Psalter Hymnal alters that paraphrase in part to solve Reformed sensitivities about eucharistic theology. Moultrie's great-grandfather had settled in South Carolina, but after siding with England during the American Revolution, he had moved back to Britain. Educated at Exeter College, Oxford, England, Moultrie served as a pastor and chaplain in the Church of England. In addition to writing his own hymns he prepared translations of Greek, Latin, and German hymns. He also edited several hymnals, including Hymns and Lyrics for the Seasons and Saints' Days (1867) and Cantica Sanctorum or Hymns for the Black Letter Saints' Days in the English and Scottish Calendars (1880).

Liturgical Use:
Ideal to use during Lord's Supper services at Christmastime, but may be used at any time during the Christmas season; Lord's Supper at other times of the church year (especially as a sung part of the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving at the beginning of the eucharistic liturgy).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook



You have access to this FlexScore.
Are parts of this score outside of your desired range? Try transposing this FlexScore.
General Settings
Stanza Selection
Voice Selection
Text size:
Music size:
Transpose (Half Steps):
Contacting server...
Contacting server...

Questions? Check out the FAQ

A separate copy of this score must be purchased for each choir member. If this score will be projected or included in a bulletin, usage must be reported to a licensing agent (e.g. CCLI, OneLicense, etc).

This is a preview of your FlexScore.
Baptist Hymnal 1991 #80
  • Full Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
The Cyber Hymnal #3646
  • Adobe Acrobat image (PDF)
  • Noteworthy Composer score (NWC)
  • XML score (XML)
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #341
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF, XML)
The United Methodist Hymnal #626
  • Bulletin Score (melody only) (PDF)
  • Bulletin Score (PDF)
  • Full Score (PDF)
Worship and Rejoice #232


Instances (1 - 74 of 74)
TextPage Scan

African Methodist Episcopal Church Hymnal #598

Ambassador Hymnal #163


Ancient and Modern #452

Anglican Hymns Old and New (Rev. and Enl.) #424

TextAudioPage Scan

Baptist Hymnal 1991 #80

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Baptist Hymnal 2008 #178

TextPage Scan

Breaking Bread (Vol. 39) #212

TextPage Scan

Catholic Book of Worship III #596

TextPage Scan

Celebrating Grace Hymnal #81

TextPage Scan

Chalice Hymnal #124


Christian Worship #361


Christian Worship #672

Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #427

TextPage Scan

Church Hymnary (4th ed.) #666

TextPage Scan

Common Praise (1998) #48

Common Praise #309

Community of Christ Sings #405


Complete Anglican Hymns Old and New #381


Evangelical Lutheran Worship #490

Gather (3rd ed.) #619

TextPage Scan

Gather Comprehensive #540

Page Scan

Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #542


Glory and Praise (3rd. ed.) #730

Text InfoTextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Glory to God #347

Great Songs of the Church (Revised) #386

Hymnal #463

Hymns Ancient and Modern, New Standard Edition #256

Hymns and Psalms #266

TextPage Scan

Hymns for a Pilgrim People #142

Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #61


Hymns of Glory, Songs of Praise #666

Hymns of the Christian Life #428

Hymns Old and New #295

TextPage Scan

Hymns to the Living God #107


Journeysongs (2nd ed.) #611


Journeysongs (3rd ed.) #591

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Lift Up Your Hearts #821


Lutheran Service Book #621


Lutheran Worship #241

TextPage Scan

Moravian Book of Worship #271

TextPage Scan

One in Faith #550

Oramos Cantando = We Pray In Song #500

Praise! Our Songs and Hymns #177

Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #341

TextPage Scan

Rejoice in the Lord #188

TextPage Scan

Renew! Songs and Hymns for Blended Worship #229


RitualSong (2nd ed.) #717

TextPage Scan

RitualSong #658

Sing Glory #472

Singing the Faith #591


Small Church Music #230


Songs of Zion #217

The Book of Praise #542

The Christian Life Hymnal #82

The Covenant Hymnal #127


The Cyber Hymnal #3646

TextPage Scan

The Hymnal 1982 #324


The Irish Presbyterian Hymbook #386

TextPage Scan

The New Century Hymnal #345

TextPage Scan

The New English Hymnal #295

TextPage Scan

The Presbyterian Hymnal #5

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

The United Methodist Hymnal #626

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

The Worshiping Church #167


Together in Song #497

TextFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #193

TextPage Scan

Trinity Psalter Hymnal #292


Voices Together #65


Voices United #473

TextPage Scan

Worship (3rd ed.) #523


Worship (4th ed.) #620

TextScoreFlexscoreAudioPage Scan

Worship and Rejoice #232


Worship in Song #75


生命聖詩 - Hymns of Life, 1986 #109

찬송과 예배 = Chansong gwa yebae = Come, Let Us Worship #150

Include 88 pre-1979 instances
Suggestions or corrections? Contact us


It looks like you are using an ad-blocker. Ad revenue helps keep us running. Please consider white-listing Hymnary.org or subscribing to eliminate ads entirely and help support Hymnary.org.