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November 17, 2015

The use of sung hymns to open our hearts to God is as ancient as the people of God themselves.  In fact, the Book of Psalms is frequently referred to as the hymn book of the church and instructs us to “Sing joyfully to the Lord, you righteous;” (Ps 33:1a) and to “Praise in the assembly of his faithful people” (Ps 149:1b). The Psalms even teach us that creation itself praises God for His wonders, “The heavens shall praise thy wonders, O Lord: thy faithfulness also in the congregation of the saints” (Ps 89:5).

 

We Bless You from the House of the Lord

But the psalmist isn’t suggesting that we praise God, instead the Psalms identify prai...

November 17, 2015

“But now, brethren, if I come to you speaking with tongues, what shall I profit you unless I speak to you either by revelation, by knowledge, by prophesying, or by teaching? Even things without life, whether flute or harp, when they make a sound, unless they make a distinction in the sounds, how will it be known what is piped or played? For if the trumpet makes an uncertain sound, who will prepare for battle? So likewise you, unless you utter by the tongue words easy to understand, how will it be known what is spoken?

 

For you will be speaking into the air. There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them i...

November 17, 2015

If one of the fundamental goals of “reasonable” liturgical worship is the effective
proclamation of the Gospel in spoken and sung words, the effective audible
communication must be the concern of every liturgical musician. Effective audible
communication is dependent 

 

on many factors—among them, voices of good quality, well
developed diction skills, favorable acoustics. But even more basic, the starting point, if
you will, is a good musical setting of the text—one that takes into account

  1. the cognitive meaning and theological content of the text

  2. the grammatical structure if the text

  3. the sound and cadence of the words themsel...

November 17, 2015

There is not a single liturgical service in the Orthodox Church which does not use chanting and singing extensively. Why is the Church’s worship expressed in song? The Orthodox Liturgy begins with the exclamation: "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit ..." With these words we are invited to "come and see," to enter into and experience the foretaste of a heavenly reality, the Kingdom of heaven on earth, which manifests itself in the Church’s liturgy. In this reality there is already expressed a transformation of our present world and of us who dwell in it. We are not simply inhabitants living in a particular spot on the...

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