Monday, February 24, 2014

Early Church Music. A Digest of Citations... Lotsa fun!



Music in Early Christian Literature, by James McKinnon

(Cambridge University Press: 1987).

What follows is a sampling of relatively “undigested” citations from the record of the early church from a collection of some 400 passages on music from early Christian literature (New Testament to c. A.D. 450). I have another, longer, paper which treats the evidence more fully. Most comments below are McKinnon’s, summarized by me.

(the # refers to the number heading in McKinnon’s collection)

(Note, McKinnon uses the Vulgate/LXX numbering of the Psalms, not the Hebrew numbering.)

Clement, third Bishop of Rome, #20, c. 96 AD, may give a reference to the Sanctus of the Eucharist, but the language is inconclusive: “For the Scripture says: ‘Ten thousand times ten thousand stood by him and a thousand times a thousand ministered to him and cried out, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Sabaoth, the whole creation is full of his glory’ (Is. 6:3). Let us, therefore, gathered together in concord by conscience, cry out earnestly to him as if with one voice, so that we might come to share in his great and glorious promises.” (McKinnon, 18).

In Antiochenes, a spurious epistle attributed to Ignatius of Antioch (c. 35-107), # 23, the author recognizes the office of cantor already in the second century: “I greet the holy presbytery. I greet the sacred deacons…I greed the sub-deacons, the readers, the cantors (), the porters, the laborers, the exorcists and the confessors. I greet the keepers of the sacred gateways and the deaconesses in Christ” (19).

Justin Martyr (c.100-165). # 24. “We have been instructed that only the following worship is worthy of him, not the consumption by fire of those things created by him for our nourishment but the use of them by ourselves and by those in need, while in gratitude to him we offer solemn prayers and hymns for his creation and for all things leading to good health” (20)

McKinnon treats the Odes of Solomon in #s 34-37, pp. 22-24.

While tinged with Gnostic heresy, some of the Apocryphal New Testament documents testify to various Hymns, of which some are quite orthodox in character. The pseudepigraphic Acts of John 94-7, #38, of uncertain date (not orthodox), but referred to by Eusebius, tells of an story where Jesus says, “‘Before I am given over to them, let us sing a hymn to the Father, and thus go to meet what lies ahead’. So he bade us form a circle, as it were, holding each other’s hands, and taking his place in the middle he said: ‘Answer Amen to me’. Then he began to hymn and say: ‘Glory to thee, Father.’ / And we, forming a circle, responded ‘Amen’ to him. / ‘Glory be to thee, Word, / Glory be to thee, Grace. ’Amen.’ / Glory be to thee, Spirit, / Glory be to thee, Holy One,/ Glory be to thy Glory. ‘Amen.’/ ‘I wish to mourn; / Beat your breasts, all of you.’ ‘Amen.’/ ‘The one octad sings with us.’ ‘Amen.”/ ‘the twelfth number dances above.’ ‘Amen.’/ ‘To the universe belongs the danger.’ ‘Amen.’/ ‘Who dances not, knows not what happens.’ ‘Amen’… After dancing with us, my beloved, the Lord went out, and we, confused and asleep, as it were, fled one way and the other.” (25)

Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215), #53, from Paedagogus II, iv. “…But let our geniality in drinking be twofold according to the Law: for if you love the Lord your God and then your neighbor, you should be genial first to God in thanksgiving and psalmody and secondly to your neighbor in dignified friendship” (33).

• Again from Paedagogus, II, iv, #54. “…Sing to him a new song (Ps. 32:2). And does not the psaltery of ten strings reveal Jesus, the Word, manifested in the element of the decad? Just as it is appropriate for us to praise the creator of all before partaking of food, so too it is proper while drinking to sing to him as beneficiaries of his creation. For a psalm is a harmonious and reasonable blessing and the Apostle calls a psalm a spiritual song” (34).

• #62 from Stromata VII, xvi, 102. “Would then that even these heretics, after studying these notes, would be chastened and turn to god the almighty. But if like ‘deaf serpents’ they do not give ear to the song which is called new, although most ancient, let them be chastised by God” (36).

McKinnon has many references to Origin (c.185-c 265) in his #s 63-70, most of which allegorize on the OT instruments. #66, from Against Celsus VIII, 67, McK. Writes, “We, along with the heavens, hymn God and his Son. This is clearly spiritual song, but not as clearly practical song.” The citation: “For Celsus says that we would seem to honor the great god better if we would sing hymns to the sun and Athena. We, however, know it to be the opposite. For we sing () hymns to the one God who is over all and his only begotten Word, who is God also. So we sing to God and his only begotten as do the sun, the moon, the stars and the entire heavenly host. For all these form a sacred chorus and sing hymns to the God of all and his only begotten along with those among men who are just” (38).

The Didascalia Apostolorum (early third century) is a Jewish-Christian work for a Syrian congregation. #71, refers to VI, 3-5. “What is lacking to you in the Law of God that you run after these myths of the gentiles? 4 If it is history that you wish to read, you have Kings; if it is wisdom and poetry, you have the Prophets, in which you will find sagacity beyond that of any wise man or poet, because they are the sounds of the Lord, the only wise. 5 If you yearn for songs, you have the Psalms; if antiquities, you have Genesis; if laws and precepts, you have the illustrious Law of the Lord” (41).

Tertullian (c. 170-225) has several “important references to psalmody and hymnody scattered throughout his writings…”. We have seen his description of impromptu singing, from Apologeticum XXXIX, 16-18, which was performed at the agape feasts. (McK. #74). In De oratione XXVII “Tertullian appears to describe the responsorial recitation of psalms, perhaps in a domestic context” -#79- “This prayer…we must bring amid psalms and hymns to the altar of God, and it will obtain from God all that we ask” (44).

• Tertullian in Ad uxorem II, viii, 8-9, #80, speaks of married couples: “Psalms and hymns sound between the two of them, and they challenge each other to see who better sings to the Lord. Seeing and hearing this, Christ rejoices. He sends them his peace. Where two come together, there is He also, and where He is, there the evil one is not” (44).

• In his Aduersus Marcionem V, viii, 12, McKinnon says that Tertullian “suggests that the ‘psalms’ referred to there [in de anima IX, 4] are not biblical (Cf. 1 Cor. 14:26)”: “So let Marcion display the gifts of his god - some prophets, who have spoken not from human understanding but from the spirit of God, who have both foretold the future and revealed the secrets of the heart. Let him produce a psalm, a vision, a prayer; only let it be of the spirit, while in ecstasy, that is, a state beyond reason, when some interpretation of tongues has come upon him. Let him also show me a woman of his group who has prophesied…” (44).

• De anima IX, 4 is here given, #82: There is among us today a sister favored with gifts of revelation which she experiences through an ecstasy of the spirit during the Sunday liturgy. She converses with angels, at one time even with the Lord; she sees and hears mysteries, reads the hearts of people and applies remedies to those who need them. The material for her visions is supplied as the scriptures are read, psalms are sung, the homily delivered and prayers are offered” (45).

• In De carne Christi XX, 3 “Tertullian contrasts the psalms of David with those of the heretic Valentinus” (#84): “The psalms also come to our aid on this point, not the psalms of that apostate, heretic and Platonist, Valentinus, but those of the most holy and illustrious prophet David. He sings among us of Christ, and through him Christ indeed sang of Himself” (45).

In The Refutation of All Heresies V, x, Hippolytus (c. 170-236) refers to the heretical hymns of the “Naassein Gnostics” as psalms, #88: “This psalm was tossed off by them, in which they appear to hymn all the mysteries of their error in this manner: ‘The generative law of all was the Primal Mind, / While the second was the diffused chaos of the First Born…’” (46).

• In his famous Apostolic Tradition 25, #89, Hippolytus writes: “And let them arise therefore after supper and pray; let the boys sing psalms, the virgins also. And afterwards let the deacon, as he takes the mingled chalice of oblation, say a psalm from those in which Alleluia is written. And afterwards, if the presbyter so orders, again from these psalms. And after the bishop has offered the chalice, let him say a psalm from those appropriate to the chalice - always one with Alleluia, which all say. When they recite the psalms, let all say Alleluia, which means, “We praise him who is God; glory and praise to him who crated the entire world through his work alone.’ And when the psalm is finished let him bless the chalice and give of its fragments to all the faithful” (47).

Cyprian (d. 258), recommends the singing of psalms at the evening meal in # 94, Ad Donatum XVI, 222-3: “And since this is a restful holiday and a time of leisure, now as the sun is sinking towards evening, let us spend what remains of the day in gladness and not allow the hour of repast to go untouched by heavenly grace. Let a psalm be heard at the sober banquet, and since your memory is sure and your voice pleasant, undertake this task as is your custom. You will better nurture your friends, if you provide a spiritual recital for us and beguile our ears with sweet religious strains” (49).

The great Athanasius (c. 296-373) has much to say of Psalmody. In Epistula ad Mercellinum 28, #99, we read: “Just as we make known and signify the thoughts of the soul through the words we express, so too the Lord wished the melody of words to be a sign of the spiritual harmony of the soul, and ordained that the canticles be sung with melody and the psalms read with song” (53).

• #102 from Apologia pro fuga sua 24 presents a “clear example of the responsorial performance of psalm 135,” says McK. “It was already night and some of the people were keeping vigil in anticipation of the synaxis, when suddenly the general Syrianus appeared with more than 5,000 soldiers, heavily armed with bared swords, bows and arrows, and cudgels, as I said above, he surrounded the church, stationing his soldiers closely together, so that no one could leave the church and slip by them. Now it seemed to me unreasonable to leave the people in such confusion and not rather to bear the brunt of battle for them, so sitting upon the throne, I urged the deacon to read a psalm and the people to respond, ‘For his mercy endureth forever’ (Ps. 135:1)…” (54).

Pachomius (c. 290-346), the founder of cenobite monasticism, led a vast number of monks and nuns in nine monasteries in Upper Egypt. In #110, Precepta 16-17, he writes: “16 On Sunday and in the synaxis in which the Eucharist (oblatio) is to be offered, aside from the master of the house and the elders of the monastery who are of some reputation, let no one have the authority to recite psalms (psallendi). 17 If someone is absent, while anyone of the elders is chanting (psallente), that is, reading the Psalter, he will immediately undergo the order of penitence and reproach before the altar” (57).

Palladius (c. 364-425), a monk in Egypt from Galatia, tells in his Lausiac History XXVI, #119, of the use of the long Psalm (prob. 118) and Gradual Psalms (prob. 119-33). “Scetis was at a distance of forty miles from us, and during those forty miles we ate twice and drank water three times, while Heron tasted nothing, but went along on foot and recited the fifteen psalms, then the long one, then the Epistle to the Hebrews, then Isaiah and a portion of Jeremiah, then Luke the evangelist, and then Proverbs” (60). McKinnon is using the LXX/Vuglate numbering - the long psalm is our 119.

Many positive citations on Psalmody are given from the Fourth-century Cappadocians, such as Basil the Great (330-379). One citation will have to do, from Homilia in psalmum i. #129: “All Scripture is inspired by God for our benefit; it was composed by the Spirit for this reason, that all we men, as if at common surgery for souls, might each of us select a remedy for his particular malady. ‘Care’, it is said, ‘makes the greatest sin to cease’. Now the Prophets teach certain things, the Historians and the law teach others, and Proverbs provides still a different sort of advice, but the book of Psalms encompasses the benefit of them all. It foretells what is to come and memorializes history; it legislates for life, gives advice on practical matters, and serves in general as a repository of good teachings, carefully searching out what is suitable for each individual” (65).

• Gregory of Nazianzus (329-389), another Cappadocian, gives the story of Emperor Valens being greatly impressed upon entering Basil’s church at Caesarea, in In laudem Basilii Magni 52, #148: “He entered the temple with his entire retinue about him - it was the day of the Epiphany, and there was a great crowd - and he took his place among the people, thus making a profession of unity (which should not be lightly dismissed). When he got inside, he was struck by the thunderous sound of the psalmody; he saw the sea of people, and everywhere good order, more angelic than human, both throughout the sanctuary and all the adjoining area” (72).

• Gregory of Nyssa (c. 330-395), was the little brother of Basil. He was the deepest thinker of the three great Cappadocians, according to McK. He gives a biography of his sainted sister, Macrina in #151, Life of Macrina 3: “And by no means was she ignorant of the Book of Psalms (), completing each portion of psalmody at the appropriate times; and upon rising from her bed, when taking up her chores and leaving off from them, when beginning to eat and leaving the table, when going to bed and arising for prayers - everywhere she had with her the Psalter (), like a good companion which one forsakes not for a moment” (73).

• In the Anonymous De uirginitate xx, formerly attributed to Athanasius, but probably Cappadocian, we find the following description of night and morning offices, #153: “In the middle of the night arise and hymn the Lord your God, for at that hour our Lord arose from the dead and hymned the Father, for which reason he has enjoined us to hymn God at that hour. After rising say first this verse: ‘I rose at midnight to give praise to thee; for the judgments of thy righteousness’ (Ps. 118:62) and pray, and begin to say the entire fiftieth psalm until you finish; and these things have been prescribed for you to carry out each day. Say as many psalms as you can while standing, and after a psalm pray and make prostration, with tears acknowledging your sins to the Lord and asking that he forgive you. And with each three psalms say the Alleluia. And if there are virgins with you, let them also sing psalms and perform the prayers one by one. At dawn say this psalm: ‘O God my God, to thee do I watch at break of day: for thee my soul has thirsted’ (Ps. 62:2); and at daybreak: ‘All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord, sing hymns’ (Dan 3:57); ‘Glory to God in the highest’ (Lk 2:14); and what follows” (74).

Cyril of Jerusalem (c. 315-386) was an orthodox bishop who faced Arian opposition. Some attribute his Mystagogical Catechesis to his successor, John (bishop from 387-417). In Mystagogical Catechesis V, 6, #157, we find the following: “We call to mind the Seraphim also, whom Isaiah saw in the Holy Spirit, present in a circle about the throne of God, covering their faces with two wings, their feet with two, and flying with two, and saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts’ (Is 6:3). Therefore we recite this doxology transmitted to us by the Seraphim, in order to become participants in the hymnody of the super terrestrial hosts” (76).

John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) is the famous preacher of antiquity. In psalmum xli, I, a commentary of Psalm 41 contains his oft-quoted encomium of psalmody. McKinnon tells us that “before launching into it he reveals that the first verse of the psalm was used that day as a response,” #163: “As I said, then, when the wolves attack the flock, the shepherds set aside the pipe and take the sling in hand. So now, with the Jewish festivals at an end, we who are bitter enemies of all wolves should in turn set the sling aside and return to the pipe. Further, let us desist from contentious discourse and engage in other, more truthful things, taking in hand the cithara of David, and leading into the middle the refrain which we all sang today in response. What is this refrain, then? ‘As the hart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, O God’ (Ps 41:1)” (79).

• In his commentary on Colossians, 3:16 (Hom. IX,2; #186), Chryosostom gives his distinction between psalms and hymns, which is, frankly, confusing: “’Teach’, he says, ‘and admonish one another with psalms, with hymns and spiritual songs’ (Col 3:16). Observe also the considerateness of Paul. Since reading is laborious and very tiring, he did not lead you to histories but to psalms, so that you could by singing both delight your spirit and lighten the burden. ‘With hymns,’ he says, ‘and spiritual songs’. Now your children choose satanical songs and dances, as if they were cooks, caterers and chorus dancers; while no one knows a single psalm, which seems rather to be a thing of shame even, to be laughed at and ridiculed… The psalms contain all things, but hymns in turn have nothing human. When one is instructed in the psalms, he will then know hymns also, as a more divine thing. For the powers above sing hymns, they do not sing psalms” (87).

• Homilia I in Oziam seu de Seraphinis I, refers to the Gloria and Sanctus, # 193: “Above, the hosts of angels sing praise; below, men form choirs in the churches and imitate them by singing the same doxology. Above, the Seraphim cry out the Tersanctus (); below, the human throng sends up the same cry. The inhabitants of heaven and earth are brought together in a common solemn assembly; there is one thanksgiving, one shout of delight, one joyful chorus” (89).

• David is first and middle and last - Pseudo-Chrysostom, de poenitentia, #195: “In the churches there are vigils, and David is first and middle and last. In the singing of early morning hymns David is first and middle and last. In the tents at funeral processions David is first and last. In the houses of virgins there is weaving, and David is first and middle and last. What a thing of wonder! Many who have not even made their first attempt at reading know all of David by heart and recite him in order. Yet it is not only in the cities and the churches that he is so prominent on every occasion and with people of all ages; even in the fields and deserts and stretching into uninhabited wasteland, he rouses sacred choirs to God with greater zeal. In the monasteries there is a holy chorus of angelic hosts, David is first and middle and last. In the convents there are bands of virgins who imitate Mary, and David is first and middle and last. In the deserts men crucified to this world hold converse with God, and David is first and middle and last. And at night all men are dominated by physical sleep and drawn into the depths, and David alone stands by, arousing all the servants of God to angelic vigils, turning earth into heaven and making angels of men” (90).

Callinicus (fl. Mid-fifth century), wrote a biography of his mentor, St. Hypatius (d. 446), abbot of a monastery near Chalcedon, #200: “And during Lent he ate every second day, confining himself, and chanting psalms and praying at daybreak, the third hour, the sixth, the ninth, the lighting of lamps, late evening, and the middle of the night, according to the saying, ‘Seven times a day I have praised thee for the judgments of thy righteousness’ (Ps 118:164). Chanting pslams, then, seven times in the course of the day and night, he completed one hundred psalms and one hundred prayers” (92).

Ephraem Syrus (c. 306-73) was famous for training choirs of virgins and boys to sing his hymns, “purportedly in answer to a similar practice by the heretic Bardesanes.” He is alleged to have employed a cithara in doing so, by Werner. It is difficult to know with certainty how his songs were employed liturgically. McKinnon gives four examples of his hymns (#201-204, pp. 93-5).

The great church historian Eusebius of Caesarea (260-340) has “several remarks about actual psalmody and hymnody.” In Ecclesiastical History II, xvii, 22, referring to Philo’s de vita contemplativa, he gives a clear description of responsorial psalmody, #208: “The above mentioned man [Philo] has given a description of all this in his own writing - which agrees precisely with the manner observed up to now by us alone - of the vigil celebrations on the great feast, the practices associated with them, the hymns we are accustomed to recite, and how as an individual sings in comely measure, the rest listen in silence and join in singing only the refrains of the hymns; how on certain days they sleep on the floor on straw pallets, abstain entirely from wine…” (98).

• In Ecclesiastical History V, xxviii, 5, Eusebius “speaks of non-biblical psalms and songs written by Christians ‘from the beginning’. The context of the remarks is a defense of the divinity of Christ against Paul of Samosata,” #210 - “For who does not know the books of Iranaeus, Melito and the others which pronounce Christ to be both God and man, and all the psalms and songs written from the beginning by faithful brethren, which hymn Christ as the Word of God, and address him as God?” (99).

Another ancient historian Socrates (c. 380-450), continued the work of Eusebius, writing seven books corresponding to seven emperors (305-439AD). He writes with historical objectivity “rare in his time,” McK. Tells us. In his Ecclesiastical History VI, 8, #218 - “The Arians, as I have said, conducted their assemblies outside the city. Each week when the festivals took place - I refer to the Sabbath and the Lord’s Day on which the synaxes were accustomed to be held in the churches - the gathered within the gates of the city about the porticoes and sang antiphonal songs composed in accordance with Arian doctrine. This they did for the greater part of the night. At dawn, after reciting the same sort of antiphona they passed through the middle of the city and went out through the gates and came to the places where they were wont to assemble. Now since they did not cease to speak in provocation of those who held the homoousian position - often they even sang some song such as this: ‘Where are they who tell of the three as one power?’ - John, concerned let any of the more simple be drawn away from the church by such songs, set in opposition to them some of his own people, so that they too, by devoting themselves to nocturnal hymnody, would obscure the efforts of others in this regard, and render their own people steadfast in their faith. But while John’s purpose appeared to be beneficial, it ended in confusion and peril. Since the homoousian hymns proved to be more splendid in their nightly singing - for John devised silver crosses, bearing light from wax tapers, provided at the expense of the Empress Eudoxia - the Arians, numerous as they were and seized by jealousy, resolved to avenge themselves and to instigate conflict. Due to their inherent strength, they were anxious to do battle and despised the others. Without hesitation, then, they struck one night and threw a stone at the forehead of Briso, a eunuch of the Empress, who was leading the singers at the time. A number of people from both sides were also killed. The emperor, moved by these occurrences, forbade the Arians to perform their hymnody in public. And such were the events narrated. It must further be told whence the custom of antiphonal hymns had its beginning in the Church. Ignatius of Antioch in Syria, the third bishop after the Apostle Peter, and an acquaintance of the Apostles themselves, saw a vision of angels, hymning the Holy Trinity with antiphonal hymns, and passed on to the church of Antioch the manner of singing he saw in the vision. Whence the same tradition was handed down to all the churches. This then, is the account of antiphonal hymns” (102).

Sozomen (fl. Second quarter of fifth century) was another historian. His nine books covered 323-425 AD. #219 is from his Ecclesiastical History III, 20, reporting on factions in Antioch: “As was their custom, they assembled in choruses when singing hymns to God, and at the end of the songs they declared their individual positions. Some praise the Father and the Son as equally worthy of honor, while others praised the Father in the Son, indicating by insertion of the preposition that the Son played a secondary role” (103).

Theodoret of Cyrus (c. 393-466) wrote about “Flavinus and Diodorus,” still laymen, who organized “dual choir” singing (a different kind of antiphonal song), in his Eccl. Hist. II, 24, 8-9, # 224, “Flavianus and Diodorus…urged on all, night and day, in the pursuit of piety. They were the first to divide into two the choruses of psalm singers, and to teach them to sing the Davidic song in alternation. And what was introduced at Antioch spread everywhere, reaching to the ends of the earth. They gathered lovers of holy things into the shrines of the martyrs and spent the entire night with them singing hymns to God” (104).

• It is Theodoret who reports how “Julia, a respected widow of Antioch, established a convent there. She is remembered for this anecdote in which she has her choir of virgins taunt the idolatrous Julian [the Apostate] with selected verses of the Psalter” (McK.). # 225. I’ll not copy in the actual quotation.

The Apostolic Constitutions appear to have been written c. 380 by a “Syrian of Arian tendencies.” It draws upon the Didascalia (books one to six) and the Didache (in book seven), and from Hippolytus’ Apostolic Tradition in book eight. References to the gradual psalm the Sanctus and the communion psalm follow:

• #223 (A.C. II, lvii, 3-7): “…In the middle the reader is to stand upon something high and read the books of Moses, of Joshua…, of Judges and Kings, of Chronicles and those from after the return, and in addition to those of Job, of Solomon and of the sixteen Prophets. After two readings let someone else sing the hymns of David, and let the people respond with verses (akrosticia). After this let our Acts be read and the epistles of Paul our fellow worker, which he sent to the churches under the guidance of the Holy Spirit; and after these let a deacon or priest read the Gospels, which I, Matthew, and John have transmitted to you, and which the co-workers of Paul, Luke and Mark, have received and passed on to you” (108-9).

• #234 (A.C.VIII, xii, 27)- “’The Cherubim and six-winged Seraphim, their feet covered with two, their heads with two, and flying with two'’ saying together with thousands times thousands of archangels and ten-thousand times ten-thousands of angels, without ceasing and in a loud voice; and let the people say with them, ‘Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth, heaven and earth are full of his glory; blessed be he forever; Amen’” (109).

• #235 (A.C. VIII, xiii,14-xiv.1a)- “And after this let the bishop receive, then the priests, and the deacons, and the subdeacons, and the readers, and the cantors (), and the ascetics; and among the women the deaconesses, and the virgins, and the widows; then the children, and then all the people in good order with reverence and piety and without commontion. And let the bishop give the oblation saying, ‘Body of Christ’, and let the one receiving say, ‘Amen’. And let the deacon take the chalice and in giving it say, ‘Blood of Christ, the chalice of life’, and let the one drinking say, ‘Amen’. Let the thirty-third psalm be sung while all the rest receive. And when all have received, men and women, let the deacon take what remains and carry it into the sacristies. And when the singer () is finished, let the deacon say…” (109)

• #236 (A.C. II, lix, 1-3) - “As you teach, O bishop, order and exhort the people always to assemble in the church, morning and evening of each day…For it is said not only of priests, but rather each of the laity must hear it and consider it for himself…But you must assemble each day, morning and evening, singing psalms and praying in the houses of the Lord, saying the sixty-second psalm in the morning, and in the evening the one hundred and fortieth, especially on the day of the Sabbath; and on the day of the Lord’s Resurrection, the Lord’s Day, meet still more earnestly…” (110).

Egeria (a Spanish nun, visiting Jerusalem around the beginning of the fifth century) gives report of her pilgrimage. In Itinerarium Egeriae XXIV. 4-6, she tells: “But at the tenth hour - what they call here licinicon, and what we call lucernare - the entire throng gathers again at the Anastasis, and all the lamps and candles are lit, producing a boundless light. The light, however, is not carried in from outside, but brought from the inner cave, that is from within the railings, where night and day a lamp burns always. And the psalmi lucernares, as well as antiphons, are sung for a long time. And behold the bishop is called and comes down and takes the high seat, while the priests also sit in their places, and hymns and antiphons are sung. And when these have been finished according to custom, the bishop arises and stands before the railings, that is before the cave, and one of the deacons makes the commemoration of individuals as is customary. And as the deacon pronounces the individual names, a great number of children, whose voices are very loud, stand there and respond Kyria eleison, or as we say, miserere Domine. And when the deacon has finished all that he has to say, the bishop first says a prayer, praying for all, and then all pray, both faithful and catechumens at the same time. Then the deacon calls out that every catechumen, wherever he stands, should bow his head, and then the bishop stands and recites the blessing over the catechumens. Then follows a prayer and again the deacon calls out and admonishes everyone of the faithful to stand and bow his head; again the bishop blesses the faithful and thus the dismissal is given at the Anastasis. And everyone begins to approach the bishop to kiss his hand” (113-4). Egeria has a number of rich liturgical details, though she seldom gives the specific psalms sung.

Canons of Laodicea- a collection of 60 canons from second half of fourth century. Gives a number of details. Drawn loosely from McKinnon (pp. 118-119): Canon 15: No one to sing in church, “besides the canonical cantors, who ascend the ambo and sing from a parchment” (#255); 17 - The psalms “ought not to be sung one after the other in the assemblies, but a reading should be interpolated after each psalm” (#256); Canon 59 - “One must not recite privately composed psalms () nor non-canonical books in the church, but only the canonical books of the Old and New Testament” (261).

Canons of Basil - 106 Alexandrian canons, late fourth century, or earlier. Not the genuine Canonical Epistles of St. Basil. From McKinnon 119-120. #265. Canon 97 - “When they begin to celebrate the mysteries, they should not do so in disorder, but should wait until the entire congregation has gathered; as long as they are coming in they should read psalms. Then after the congregation is assembled, there should be readings from the Apostles, then from the Acts and from the Gospel. If the deacons read well, they should read the Gospel. If they do not read well, the oldest lectors should read the psalms, and the deacons the Gospel. Only a deacon or a presbyter should read the Gospel in a catholic church; none should overstep his rank.” Canon 97 continues, “Those singing psalms at the altar shall not sing with pleasure, but with understanding; they should sing nothing other than psalms…The congregation shall respond with vigor after every psalm. If anyone is physically sick, so that he answers after the others, no blame resides in him; but if he is healthy and keeps quiet, then one leaves him alone; he is not worthy of blessing.”

Hilary of Poitiers (c. 315-367) is called the Athanasius of the West for his opposition to Arianism. He is the earliest composer of hymns in the west , and wrote a psalm commentary in the allegorical style of Origen. (McKinnon pp. 121-125). In his Tractatus in psalmum lxv, 3, he writes: “In Latin manuscripts we read: ‘Rejoice (iubilate) in God, all ye earth’. Now, according to the conventions of our language, we give the name jubilus (iubilum) to the sound of a pastoral and rustic voice, when the sound of a voice prolonged and expressed forcefully is heard in the wilderness either answering or asking, in point of sense. In Greek books, however, which are closer to the Hebrew, it is not written with the same sense, for what they have is: ‘Shout () unto God, all ye earth’. Now, among the Greeks, the term shout (which is rendered in Latin as jubilus) means the cry of an army in battle, either when it routs the enemy, or else proclaims a victorious outcome in a shout of joy. We gain a clearer understanding of this occurrence, that is, how translation weakens meaning, in another psalm, where we read: ‘Clap your hands, all people, praise god in a shout of joy’ (Ps 44:2). Now, a shout of joy (vox exultationis) does it mean the same thing as jubilus; but for the purpose of translation, since a proper term for ‘shout of joy’ is not available, ‘shout of joy’ is rendered by what is called jubilus” (124-5).

Ambrose of Milan (c. 339-397) was noted as a composer of Latin metrical hymns, and later liturgical documents refer to office hymns as ambrosiana. Yet few have surpassed his praise of the Psalter! His Explanatio psalmi I, 6 serves as an introduction to the psalter, #274: “Yet it is David who was especially chosen by the Lord for this office, so that what in others seems to stand out only rarely in their words would in his shine forth continually and without ceasing. We read but one song (canticum) in the Book of Judges, while the rest runs its course in the manner of history, relating the deeds of the ancients. Isaiah wrote one song, in which he soothes the heart of his readers, whereas elsewhere he rages with the fearsome trumpet of rebuke. Not even those very enemies who persecuted him to the death because of the other things he said could reproach him for this song. Daniel and Habakkuk each wrote one. And Solomon, himself, David’s son, although he is said to have sung countless songs, has left only one which the Church accepts, the Song of Songs; he did write Proverbs however. Among others, then, one can encounter only isolated examples” (125-6).

• Explanatio psalmi I, 9 #276 reads, “What is more pleasing than a psalm? David himself puts it nicely: ‘Praise the Lord’, he says, ‘for a psalm is good’ (Ps 146:1). And indeed! A psalm is the blessing of the people, the praise of God, the commendation of the multitude, the applause of all, the speech of every man, the voice of the Church, the sonorous profession of faith, devotion full of authority, the joy of liberty, the noise of good cheer, and the echo of gladness. It softens anger, it gives release from anxiety, it alleviates sorrow; it is protection at night, instruction by day, a shield in time of fear, a feast of holiness, the image of tranquillity, a pledge of peace and harmony, which produces one song from various and sundry voices in the manner of a cithara. The day’s dawning resounds with a psalm, with a psalm its passing echoes. The Apostle admonishes women to be silent in church, yet the do well to join in a psalm; this is gratifying for all ages and fitting for both sexes. Old men ignore the stiffness of age to sing [a psalm], and melancholy veterans echo it in the joy of their hearts; young men sing one without the bane of lust, as do adolescents without threat from their insecure age or the temptation of sensual pleasure; even young women sing psalms with no loss of wifely decency, and girls sing a hymn to god with sweet and supple voice while maintaining decorum and suffering no lapse of modesty. Youth is eager to understand [a psalm], and the child who refuses to learn other things takes pleasure in contemplating it; it is a kind of play, productive of more learning than that which is dispensed with stern discipline. With what great effort is silence maintained in church during the readings (cum lectiones leguntur)! If just one person recites, the entire congregation makes noise; but when a psalm is read (legitur), it is itself the guarantor of silence because when all speak [in the response] no one makes noise. Kings put aside the arrogance of power and sing a psalm, as David himself was glad to be observed in this function; a psalm, then, is sung by emperors and rejoiced in by the people. Individuals vie in proclaiming what is of profit to all. A psalm is sung at home and repeated outdoors; it is learned without effort and retained with delight. A psalm joins those with differences, unites those at odds and reconciles those who have been offended, for who will not concede to him with whom one sings to God in one voice? It is after all a great bond of unity for the full number of people to join in one chorus. The strings of the cithara differ, but create one harmony (symphonia). The fingers of a musician (artificis) often go astray among the strings they are very few in number, but among the people the Spirit musician knows not how to err” (126-7).

• Explanatio psalmi xlv, 15, #277: “Hence what was sung today as a response to the psalm (psalmi responsorio decantatum est), considerably corroborates our point: ‘With expectation I have waited for the Lord, and he was attentive to me’ (Ps. 39:2) (127).

• sermo contra Auxentium de basilicis tradendis xxxiv gives an apparent reference to congregational singing of Ambrose’s hymns, #298: “They also say that the people are lead astray by the charms of my hymns. Certainly; I do not deny it. This is a mighty charm, more powerful than any other. For what avails more than the confession of the Trinity, which is proclaimed daily in the mouth of all the people? All vie eagerly among themselves to profess the faith; they know how to praise Father, Son and Holy Spirit in verse. All them are rendered masters, who had scarcely managed to be disciples” (132-3).

Niceta of Remesiana (d. after 414). In present day Yugoslavia, he was ordained bishop c. 370AD. Some scholars attribute the Te Deum to Niceta, though this is not universally accepted (McK.134). In de utilitate hymnorum 2, #303, we read: “I know that there are some, not only in our area but in the regions of the east, who consider the singing of psalms and hymns to be superfluous and little appropriate to divine religion. They think it enough if a psalm is spoken in the heart and frivolous if it is produced with the sound of one’s lips, and they appropriate to this opinion of theirs the verse of the Apostle which he wrote to the Ephesians: ‘Be filled with the Spirit, seeking in psalms, hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts.’ Look, they say, the Apostle specifies that one must make melody in their heart, and not babble in the theatrical manner with sung melody (vocis modulatione), for it is sufficient to God ‘ who searches hearts’ (Rom 8:27) that one sings in the secrecy of his heart. None the less, if the truth be told, just as I do not blame those who ‘make melody in their heart’ (for it is always beneficial to meditate in one’s heart upon the things of God), so too do I praise those who glorify God with the sound of their voice. Now before I offer testimony drawn from numerous Scriptural passages, by way of a preliminary objection I will refute their foolish talk by appealing to that very verse of the Apostle that many use against the singers. Certainly the Apostle says, ‘be filled with the Spirit as you speak’, but I believe also that he frees our mouths, loosens our tongues and opens our lips, for it is impossible for men ‘to speak’ without these organs; and just as heat differs from cold so does silence differ from speech. And since he adds, ‘speaking in psalms and hymns and songs’, he would not have mentioned ‘songs’ if he had wished those ‘making melody’ to be altogether silent, for no one can sing by being absolutely quiet. When he says, then, ‘in your hearts’, he admonishes one not to sing with the voice alone and without attention of the heart; as he says in another place, ‘I will sing with the spirit, I will sing also with the understanding’ (I Cor 14:15), that is with both voice and thought” (134-5).

• De utilitate hymnorum 9-10, #309 gives the precedents for sacred song in the NT: “Therefore in the Gospel you will first find Zachary, father of the great John, who ‘prophesied’ in the form of a hymn after his long silence. Nor did Elizabeth, so long barren, fail to ‘magnify’ God from her soul when her promised son had been born. And when Christ was born on earth, the army of angels sounded a song of praise, saying, ‘Glory to God on high’, and proclaiming ‘peace on heart to men of good will’… And not to prolong this discourse, the Lord himself, a teacher in words and master in deeds, went out to the Mount of Olives with the disciples after singing a hymn… 10 The Apostles also are known to have done likewise when even in prison they did not cease to sing. And Paul, in turn, admonishes the prophets of the Church: ‘When you come together,’ he says, ‘each one of you has a hymn, a teaching, a revelation; let all things be done for edification’. And again in another place: ‘I will sing with the spirit’, he says, ‘I will sing with the mind also’. And James puts it thus in his epistle: ‘Is anyone among you sad? Let him pray. Is any cheerful? Let him sing.’ And John reports in Revelations that, as the Spirit revealed to him, he saw and heard the voice of the heavenly army ‘ like the sound of many waters and the sound of mighty thunderpeals, crying, Alleluia!’”(137).

The great translator of the Vulgate, Jerome (341-420) has many references to song in worship, #312-335. In his Commentarium in epistulam ad Ephesios III, v,19, Jerome writes: “’Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (canticis), singing and making melody (psallentes) to the Lord with all your heart.’ He who has abstained from the drunkenness of wine, in which is luxury, and in place of this has been filled with the Spirit, this one is able to take all things spiritually - psalms, hymns and songs. How psalms, hymns and songs differ among themselves we learn most thoroughly in the Psalter. But it must be said here briefly that hymns are those that proclaim the strength and majesty of God and ever express wonder over his favors and deeds - something all psalms do, to which Alleluia has been superscribed or appended. Psalms, however, apply properly to the ethical seat, so that by this organ of the body we might know what is to be done and what avoided. But he who treats of higher things, the subtle investigator who explains the harmony of the world and the order and concord existing among all creatures, this one sings a spiritual song. For certainly (to speak more plainly than we wish for the sake of the simple), the psalm pertains to the body and the song to the mind. And we ought therefore to sing, to make melody and to praise the Lord more with spirit than with the voice. This in fact what is said: ‘singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord’. Let youth hear this, let them hear it whose duty it is to sing in the church, that God is to be sung to, not with the voice but with the heart - not in daubing the mouth and throat with some sweet medicine after the manner of the tragedians, so that theatrical melodies and songs are heard in the church, but in fear, in work and in knowledge of the Scriptures. Although one might be, as they are wont to say, kakophonos, if he has performed good works, he is a sweet singer before God. Thus let the servants of Christ sing, so that not the voice of the singer but the words that are read give pleasure; in order that the evil spirit which was in Saul be cast out from those similarly possessed by it, and not introduced into those who have made of God’s house a popular theatre” (144-5).

John Cassian (c.360-435), born in modern Rumania, was in Bethlehem and Egypt, but established monastic houses in Marseilles c. 415, where he introduced the Egyptian system with western modifications. He gives out the order of psalms to be sung in monastic offices. In De institutis, II, 8, he mentions the doxology, #340: “and what we have seen in this province, that after one sings to the end of the psalm all stand and sing aloud, ‘Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit’, we have never heard throughout the entire east. Instead, when the psalm is finished, there follows a prayer by one who sings, all the others remaining silent, and only the antiphon is ordinarily terminated with this glorification of the Trinity” (148).

• De institutis II, 11, #342: “And therefore they do not even try to complete the very psalms which they sing at their assembly in an unbroken recitation, but they work through them section by section, according to the number of verses, in two or three segments with prayers in between… This also is observed among them with great care, that no psalm is sung with the response Alleluia unless Alleluia appears inscribed in its title. They divide the aforementioned number of twelve psalms in this manner: if there are two brothers, each sings six; if three, four; and if four, three. They never sing less than this number when assembled, so that however large a group has come together, never more than four brothers sing in the synaxis” (148).

Augustine (354-430), the best known of all the Fathers.. Here is a great quote from his Confessions is worth our attention for many reasons (emphasis added):

• The delight of the ear drew me and held me more firmly, but you unbound and liberated me. Now I confess that I repose just a little in those sounds to which your words give life, when they are sung by a sweet and skilled voice; not such that I cling to them, but that I can rise out of them when I wish. But it is with the words by which they have life that they gain entry into me, and seek in my heart a place of some honor, even if I scarcely provide them a fitting one. Sometimes I seem to myself to grant them more respect than is fitting, when I sense that our souls are more piously and earnestly moved to the ardor of devotion by these sacred words when they are thus sung than when not thus sung, and that all the affections of our soul, by their own diversity, have their proper measures (modo) in voice and song, which are stimulated by I know not what secret correspondence. But the gratification of my flesh - to which I ought not to surrender my mind to be enervated - frequently leads me astray, as the senses do not accompany reason in such a way as patiently to follow; but having gained admission only because of it, seek even to run ahead and lead it. I sin thus in these things unknowingly, but afterwards I know. 50 Sometimes, however, in avoiding this deception too vigorously, I err by excessive severity, and sometimes so much so that I wish every melody of the sweet songs to which the Davidic Psalter is usually set, to be banished from my ears and from the church itself. And safer to me seems what I remember was often told me concerning Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, who required the reader of the psalm to perform it with so little inflection (flexu) of voice that it was closer to speaking (pronuntianti) than to singing (canenti). However, when I recall the tears which I shed at the song of the Church in the first days of my recovered faith, and even now as I am moved not by the song but by the things which are sung, when sung with fluent voice and music that is most appropriate (conuenientissima modulatione), I acknowledge again the great benefit of this practice. Thus I vacillate between the peril of pleasure and the value of the experience, and I am led more - while advocating no irrevocable position - to endorse the custom of singing in church so that by the pleasure of hearing the weaker soul might be elevated to an attitude of devotion. Yet when it happens to me that the song moves me more than the thing which is sung, I confess that I have sinned blamefully and then prefer not to hear the singer. Look at my condition! Weep with me and weep for me, you who so control your inner feelings that only good comes forth.. And you who do not behave thus, these things move you not. You however, O Lord my God, give ear, look and see, have pity and heal me, in whose sight I have become an enigma unto myself; and this itself is my weakness. (McKinnon, 154-5)

[[Note that the kind of Church singing to which Augustine refers involves a solo recitation, or cantillation, of the psalm by the precentor, or cantor. It was Athanasius’ reader had to be told to chant less melodiously.]]

• In his psalm commentary In psalmum xl,I, #357, Augustine writes, “First, what we have sung in response to the reader (legenti), although it is from the middle of the psalm, we will take the beginning of our discourse from it: ‘My enemies have spoken evil against me: when shall he die and his name perish?’ (Ps. 40:6)” (157).

• In In psalmum lxxii, I Augustine defines a hymn (#360), “Hymns are praises of God with song; hymns are songs containing the praise of God. If there be praise, and it is not of God, it is not a hymn; if there be praise, and praise of God, and it is not sung, it is not a hymn. If it is to be a hymn, therefore, it must have three things: praise, and that of God, and song” (158).

• In Sermo CCCLII, de utilitate agendae poenitentiae II, 1, #374, “The voice of the penitent is recognized in the words with which we respond to the singer (psallenti): ‘Hide thy face from my song [sic.], and blot out all my iniquities’ (Ps 50:11)” (162). [[I suspect a typo on McKinnon’s part of song for sin…]]

• He puts down the heretics in #377, Epistle LV, 34-5: “But if the objection is so slight that greater benefits are to be expected for those who are earnest than damage to be feared from slanderers, then the practice ought without hesitation to be maintained, especially when it can be defended from the Scriptures, as can the singing of hymns and psalms, since we have the example and precepts of the Lord himself and of the Apostles. There are various ways of realizing this practice, which is so effective in stirring the soul with piety and in kindling the sentiment of divine love, and many members of the church in Africa are rather sluggish about it, so that the Donatists reproach us because in church we sing the divine songs of the prophets in a sober manner, while they inflame their revelry as if by trumpet calls for the singing of psalms composed by human ingenuity. When, then, is not the proper time for the brethren gathered in church to sing what is holy - unless there is reading or discourse or prayer in the clear voice of bishops or common prayer led by the voice of the deacon? 35 And at other times I simply do not see what could be done by Christian congregations that is better, what more beneficial, what more holy” (163-4).

• In Epistle CCXI, 7, #379: “Be instant in prayer at the appointed hours and times. Let no one do anything in the oratio other than that for which it was made and from which it derives its name, so that if nuns who have the free time wish to pray even outside the regular hours, others who wish to do something else there will not prove an obstacle to them. When you pray to God in psalms and hymns, let what is pronounced by the voice be meditated upon in the heart; and do not sing something unless you read that it is to be sung, for what is not thus noted to be sung, ought not to be sung” (164).

• In Liber retractationum I, 20, reference to a wide-spread usage of an Ambrosian hymn is inferred, #384: “In one passage of this book I said about the Apostle Peter that ‘on him as upon a rock the Church was built’. The same idea is sung from the mouth of many in the verse of the most blessed Ambrose, where he says of the crowing of the cock: ‘This man himself, rock of the Church at the cockcrow washed away his guilt’.” (166).

• [Pseudo?]-Augustine, Sermo CCCLXXII, De natiuitate Domini IV, 3: “Thus it is written: ‘And he rejoices as a giant in running his course’ (Ps 18:6). For he descended and he ran, he ascended and he sat. You know that you are accustomed to proclaim this: ‘After he had arisen, he ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the Father’. Blessed Ambrose has sung very concisely and most beautifully of this journey of our giant in the hymn which you sang a short while ago. In speaking of the Lord Christ he said: ‘His going out from the Father, his re-entrance to the Father; his excursion to the very depths, his return to the seat of God’.” (167-8).

Pope Celestine I (d. 432), in a sermon fragment quoted by Arnobius Junior, Conflictus Arnobii catholici cum Serapione aegyptio de Deo trino et uno XIII: “I recall that on the day of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ Ambrose of blessed memory had all the people sing with one voice, Veni redemptor gentium…” (169-70).

Gennadius, De uiris illustribus 80, writing about 480, gives us clear testimony to the concept that psalms relate thematically to readings: “Musaeus, priest of the church of Marseilles, a man learned in the Divine Scripture and refined by the most subtle exercise of its interpretation, schooled also in language, selected, at the urging of the holy bishop Venerius, readings from the Holy Writings appropriate to the feast days of the entire year and responsorial psalms (responsoria psalmorum capitula) appropriate to the season and to the readings. This most necessary task is ratified by the lectors in Church.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Psalmody in Church History: Exclusive, or Preponderant? by Tony Cowley (LONG)

by Anthony Cowley
            The Patristic era is the area of concentration for this paper. In a separate document I have already given a number citations from the record of the early church as reported in James McKinnon’s collection of some 400 passages on music from early Christian literature (New Testament to c. AD 450). The study of the Patristic period, however, led to a thesis which requires evidentiary support from earlier periods.   It was deemed instructive to follow the record forward through time, so as to indicate to what degree the patterns found in ancient times persist as authentic forms of praise for Christian worship in all times and places.
            I shall first give some overview statements from the literature (after giving some confessional statements on Exclusive Psalmody) comparing some classic Exclusive Psalmody accounts of the history with the accounts of other responsible historians and commentators. Following these citations we shall consider a summary of the history of the Psalm usage from Moses to the Medieval period, employing the introduction to a standard Nineteenth-century Psalm Commentary. While introducing some redundancy, this will take us back into the Old Testament and the Intertestamental period.  This will lead us into a discussion of  the evidence of the use of uninspired compositions in the worship of the Intertestamental period and some later Jewish sects (c. 250 BC-200 AD) and in the early church. Some of this information is based upon the recent disclosures from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Additionally, we shall briefly contemplate the nature of the revival of Psalmody at the Reformation. What is indicated by the historic record, from Bible times through the early Medieval period, is preponderantly inspired praise.  However, what this means in terms of the dynamics of the liturgy needs to be explained with reference to the various modes of musicality employed in the Liturgies of church and synagogue.  In any case, Exclusive Psalmody (EP) did not arise until the Reformation, when Metrical Psalm-singing came to the fore.
Before looking into the patristic history, let us clarify the confessional stance of Exclusive Psalmody, for this is really what is in question in the historical evidence, biblical and post-biblical.
EXCURSUS:  Confessional Statements of Some Psalm-Singing Churches
Dutch Church, 1619:
Canons of Dordt,  article 69: "In the Churches only the 150 Psalms of David, the Ten Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, the Twelve Articles of Faith, the Song of Mary, that of Zacharias, and that of Simeon shall be sung.  It is left to the individual Churches whether or not to use the hymn 'O God! who art our Father." All other hymns are to be excluded from the Churches, and in those places where some have already been introduced that are to be removed by the most suitable means."
English-Speaking World:
Seceders (Assosiate Presbytery), Philadelphia, 1784:
I.        We declare, that the Psalms of David are proper to be sung in public worshipping assemblies, and in families; and that we believe they were designed for this purpose by the Holy Spirit. Every human composition must be as much inferior to them as the writings of the best men are inferior to the word of God.
II.     That the imitation of the Psalms of David, which is, by many substituted in their place, we reject for these reasons:  First, We reckon it a very daring presumption for any man to give us an imitation of a part of the Scripture, pretending that it is more worthy of our acceptance, and more proper to be used in the worship of  God, than the Scripture itself. Let the writings of fallible men contain ever so many valuable truths, still we are not ashamed to declare, that never man spake like God.  Secondly, in that imitation, some of these excellent psalms, precious to the saints, as songs of praise, which the Lord their God put in their mouths , are quite left out. Thirdly, These psalms, of which an imitation is given to us, are, many of them, so disordered and mangled, that one can see little resemblance between the imitation and the Scripture songs.  By this, contempt is put upon the order of matter which the Holy Spirit judged the best.  Fourthly, One declared reason of substituting that imitation in place of the Psalms of David, is that many things in the latter are affirmed to be contrary to the spirit of meekness, forgiveness, and love to all men, which is said to be peculiar to the New Testament Church. This is an injurious reflection on what the Holy Spirit says in the Old Testament.
III.   (re: imprecations, the spirit of the Psalmist not being N.T..)
IV.   (further re: imprecations, more specifically)
V.      (re: Poetical version of the Psalms, “Rouse,” etc.)
VI.   (re:  some things “hard to be understood… alike in NT and OT/Psalms)  (Article VI, Declaration and Testimony for the Doctrine and Order of the Church of Christ and Against the Errors of the Present Times, Associate Presbytery, 1784 [publication date of my edition unknown, as first pages are missing], p. 189-193.)
Covenanters, in America, 1806:
Singing God’s praise is a part of public social worship, in which the whole congregation should join:  the book of Psalms, which are of divine inspiration, is well adapted to the state of the Church, and of every member, in all ages and circumstances; and these Psalms, to the exclusion of all imitations and uninspired compositions, are to be used in social worship. (Declaration & Testimony XXIV:8, in Reformation Principles Exhibited by the Reformed Presbyterian church in the United States of America (New York: M.B. Brown Printing & Binding Co., 1919 ed. Of 1806 US Testimony, p. 221).
United Presbyterians, 1858:
We declare, That it is the will of God that the songs contained in the book of Psalms, be sung in his worship, both public and private, to the end of the world; and in singing God’s praise these songs should be employed to the exclusion of the devotional compositions of uninspired men.
Argument and Illustration.
   This declaration is in accordance with the Confession of Faith, chap. xxi.,. Secs. 1 and 5; Shorter Catechism, Ques. 51; Larger Catechism, Ques. 109; and the Directory of the Public Worship of God.
   Although the Declaration we have just made on this subject is in opposition to the statements and practices of many, even of those who profess an adherence to the Confession of Faith, we believe it to be in accordance with the authority of God’s word.
   This Declaration affirms it to be the will of God, that the songs contained in the book of Psalms should be used by the church of Christ. In testifying in behalf of this, we, of course, are to be understood as speaking of the use  of the Psalms in the formal worship of God.  Now, the word of God is the only source to which we can apply in order to ascertain his will. In the light of this word, we urge in favor of the use of these Psalms: - 1. God has given them as a book of psalms. They were composed by the inspiration of God (2 Tim. iii.16; 2 Pet. I.21; 2 Sam.xxiii.2;) and, of course, were given by God. We have said that they were given as a book of psalms.  They were expressly so called in the New Testament (Lukexx.42; Actsi.20.) Our argument, then, is - The book of Psalms, whence was it? From heaven, or of men? If from heaven, why not use it? (Matt.xxi.25.) 2. The title given to David, their penman, indicates that is the will of God that they should be used by the church.  He is called “the sweet psalmist of Israel,” (2 Sam.xxiii.1.) 3. They are called the “songs of the Lord” (1 Chron.xxv.7); which, like the expressions, “table of the Lord,” “supper of the Lord,” “day of the lord,” implies divine authority and appointment.  4.  They are called “the songs of Zion” (Pscxxxvii.3), which implies that they were designed for the use of the church. 5. God’s worshipping people, under the former dispensation, were directed to sing them (1 Chron.xvi.4,7; 2 Chron.xxix. 30; Ps. cv.2; Ps.lxxxvi.2); and they sang them after their captivity. (Neh.xii.24.) These directions and examples are still in force, as there is in the New Testament no intimation to the contrary. 6. These commands are renewed in the New Testament (Eph.v.19; Col.iii.16; James v. 13). 7. They were most probably sung by our Lord and his disciples at the institution of the Lord’s Supper (Matt.xxvi.30); the Jews made  use of them at the Passover, on which occasion the Lord’s Supper was instituted.  Here the argument is the same as we have for the observance of the first day of the week as the Sabbath. These considerations fully establish the truth of our Declaration, that the songs contained in the books of Psalms should be sung in the worship of God.
     We have also declared that they should be employed, to the exclusion of the devotional compositions of uninspired men. The truth of this part of our declaration follows as a necessary consequence, unless it can be shown that God himself has authorized the use of such compositions. For it is not only the doctrine of our Confession that “the acceptable way of worshipping the true God is instituted by himself, and so limited by his own revealed will,” but the doctrine of the word of God (Deut.xii.32; Lev.x.1-3; Matt.xv.9). The simple question, then, is - Have we divine authority for the use of the compositions of uninspired men in the worship of God?  It is alleged that we have such an authority in the directions of the apostle to sing, not only “psalms,” but “hymns and spiritual songs” (Eph. V.19, Col.iii.16). In order that the authority sought for may be found in these verses, it must be shown that the terms, “hymns” and “spiritual songs,” are designed to indicate compositions differing from those referred to by the name “psalms,” as the compositions of uninspired men differ from those of inspired men.  This, however, cannot be shown. It does not appear in the fact that a variety of terms is employed; for we know that the Scriptures often, under a variety of names, refer, in the same place, to that which has been appointed by God, as “statues,” “judgments,” “ordinances,” and “commandments” (Ex.xv.26; Deut.xxvii.10; 2 Sam.xxii.23; Ex.xviii.20; 2 Kings xxiii.3). It does not appear in the names, “hymns” and “songs;” for these names correspond to the Hebrew names tehilla  and Shir, which are applied along with Mizmor (a psalm), to some of the inspired psalms.  The whole collection is called, in Hebrew, Sepher Tehillim, the Book of Hymns.  The Septuagint version of the Old Testament - the version that was in use in the times of the Apostle - applies to some of the inspired psalms the very terms, “hymns” and “songs,” which the apostle employs; and Josephus, and other writers, refer to the Psalms of David under the name of “songs” and “hymns.”  It is , therefore, utterly impossible to prove the distinction claimed, and consequently to find in the passages authority for the use of any other compositions but the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs of inspiration.
   But not only is there a lack of authority in these passages, but there are several considerations which are conclusive against the supposition of such a distinction as the one sought. 1. It is known that there was an inspired collection of psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, in existence at that time. 2. We have no command to make hymns or songs for the worship of God, or the least hint that would infer that the church possessed such a right. 3. It is not probable that the Ephesians and Colossians would, at that time, be qualified for such a service, as they had been lately converted from idolatry. 4. The Jews would, in all probability, have opposed the use of any thing else but the inspired collection, having been from their childhood accustomed to their use. 5. It is not likely that the apostle would thus place the word of God and the word of man upon a par, by directing them both to be used for the same end. 6. If we make the distinction which is alleged to exist between psalms and hymns, we must make a distinction equally great between  hymns and spiritual songs. 7. These songs are called spiritual, which word implies that the Spirit of God is their author (I Cor.x.3,4; Rom.vii.14; 1 Cor.iii.1; xv.44,46; Eph.i.3;; Col.i9, &c.).  8.  They are to be used as a means of being “filled with the Spirit;” to this end the words of inspiration are peculiarly adapted. 9. We are to sing them as a means of “letting the word of Christ dwell in us richly” - language which will apply more appropriately to the inspired psalms than to any human compositions. In view of these considerations, these two passages of the New Testament Scriptures are to be regarded as an apostolic injunction to praise God, by means of those psalms, and hymns, and spiritual songs, which He himself had given to his church.  In making use of any thing else, we are doing that for which we have no warrant, and against the expressed will of Him to whom alone it belongs to say in what way, and by what means, he shall be worshipped. We, therefore, solemnly testify against the use of uninspired compositions in the worship of God.
   In testifying for the use of an inspired psalmody, we, of course, make no reference to any particular version.   We should use the most faithful that can be obtained. It is for the use of the Book of Psalms, in an faithful translation, whether it be in measured or unmeasured lines, and against the use of mere imitation, or loose paraphrase of these psalms, or the use of a religious song, composed by an, that we testify.
   The evils which have followed the exclusion of an inspired psalmody from the worship of God, and the arguments which have been urged by many of the advocates of the practice which we condemn (indicating, as they often do, a disregard of Divine authority, or a want of reverence for the Scriptures, and low views in relation to their inspiration), only impress us the more deeply with a sense of the importance of maintaining this ordinance in its purity. (United Presbyterian Testimony, p. 588-591).
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1945:
CHAPTER 2 - Parts of Public Worship- The Singing of Praise
1. The singing of praise is an ordinance of worship and is expressed in words set to music. The Psalms of the Bible, by reason of their excellence and their Divine inspiration and appointment are to be sung in the worship of God, to the exclusion of all songs and hymns of human composition. They are to be sung without the accompaniment of instruments, inasmuch as these are not authorized in the New Testament. The metrical versions of the Psalms used in the praise of God shall be such as may be approved from time to time by the church.
2. All the people are under obligation to praise God and to sing thoughtfully, reverently, fervently, with grace in the heart, as becometh the worship of the High and Holy One. A knowledge of music should be cultivated, and the congregation should be trained in singing. None should be chosen to lead the singing in public worship who are not of recognized Christian character.
3. The oversight of the singing of praise in the congregation belongs to the session. Great care must be taken against the tendency to leave the singing to the choir, although under the guidance of session, for specific purposes, or in unusual circumstances, the choir may sing by itself. Congregational singing must always be the rule.
Explanation of the Psalm
4. The Psalms have a depth of meaning and beauty which cannot be fully appreciated without careful study. The custom of explaining the Psalm or a portion of the Psalm should be maintained, and for this the pastor should make careful preparation. The explanation may well present the central thought of the Psalm, the interpretation of passages that seem obscure, and the presence of Christ in the Psalm. It may on occasion be directed especially to the children. It should be brief and a stimulus to spiritual worship. [1]
Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America, 1980:
Singing God's praise is part of public worship in which the whole congregation should join. The Book of Psalms, consisting of inspired psalms, hymns and songs, is the divinely authorized manual of praise. The use of other songs in worship is not authorized in the Scriptures. The Greek words in the New Testament which are translated "psalm," "hymn" and "song" all appear in the Septuagint (Greek) version of the Book of Psalms.Ps. 95:2; Ps. 40:3, (4); Ps. 96:1; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; Mark 14:26; 1 Cor. 14:26; Jas. 5:13. (Reformed Presbyterian Testimony 21:5).
Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland (Covenanter), 1990
The Book of Psalms, part of the Scriptures given by inspiration of God, is divinely appointed for praise in worship, to the exclusion of all songs and hymns of merely human composition. To substitute anything else for the Divinely-appointed Book of Psalms is to fail to realise that the Divine provision for our praise is perfect and adequate.  It is clear that the use of the Psalms in worship is commanded in both and Old and the New Testaments.  It should be noted that the command in Colossians 3:16 - “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord” (cf. Eph.5;19) - does not authorise the use of songs for worship other than those contained in the Book of Psalms, for the “psalms,” “hymns” and “spiritual songs” referred to there, were the titles attached to the Psalms in the Septuagint Version of the Old Testament which was in general use in the Apostolic Church.
   The fact that certain songs of praise preserved in the Old testament are not included in the Psalter, has been used as an argument against exclusive psalmody.  The Bible itself, it is affirmed, goes beyond the ‘exclusive psalmody’ restriction.  Passages cited include the song of Hannah (1 Sam.2:1-10); the psalm of Jonah (Jonah 2:3-9); the song of Hezekiah (Isa. 38:10-20); the song of Moses (Deut. 32:1-43; Ex.15:1-18); the song of Deborah (Judges 5:1-31); the song of Habakkuk (Hab. 3:1-19).
   It is clear that the Psalms of the Psalter grew out of a liturgical milieu, many of them being anonymous.  They cover a span of almost a millennium, from the time of Moses (Psalm 90) to the period of the Exile (Psalms 126 and 137). The existence of songs of praise prior to the final collection and close of the Psalter, but not included in that collection, is not a problem.  Not all the songs and canticles of the Old Testament period were included when the Psalter was completed, just as not all the apostolic epistles were included in the canon of Scripture (1 Cor. 5:9; Col. 4:16).  What the Holy Spirit has given us in providence is adequate for our needs.
   The Psalms contain many references to Christ and He frequently quoted them during His earthly ministry. Their beauty has endured throughout the centuries and they provide a common ground upon which all who accept God’s Word can worship together.
   There is no warrant for instrumental accompaniment to the singing in New Testament worship…. (Testimony of the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland, published by Authority of the Reformed Presbyterian Synod, 1990, pp. 39-40).
In review, there is a change, from the period of Calvin’s Geneva (see below for details), from preponderant Psalmody to Exclusive Psalmody.  The principle embraced in the earlier confessional Delcarations and Testimones is that of Inspired Praise, applied by means of the practice of Exclusive Psalmody.  One final statement will be instructive for its argumentation against the use of other inspired songs:
The Constitutional Associate  Presbytery writes in 1827:
That although there are other Scripture songs besides those contained in the Book of Psalms, yet the latter seem to have been especially intended by God to be used in the exercise of public praise, from their being delivered to the Church by the Holy Ghost for that purpose; that the Psalms of David are adapted to the use of the Church under the present as well as  the former dispensation; that the use of these psalms in New Testament times  is sanctioned by the precept and example of our Lord and His apostles; that  when songs and hymns are spoken of in the New Testament along with psalms,  there is no evidence that different compositions from the Psalms of David  are intended. (Cited in M'Crie's "Public Worship in Presbyterian Scotland, p. 304.)[2]
While Scots often practiced EP before 1650, it is clear that a confessionally binding practice of exclusive psalmody goes back in the Scottish Church to the obligations involved in embracing the Westminster Confession of Faith & Directory for the Publick Worship of God. Even then, it was not required that one confessionally affirm strict EP stance[3], but that they join in the practice of the worship as promised in the sought after “Covenanted Uniformity in Religion.”[4] The RPCNA’s language in the 1980 Testimony officially obligates her subscribers to an exegetical stance upholding EP that is matched only by the 1990 Irish RP Testimony’s statement.
I.  History from the Exclusive Psalmody Advocates
            What was the content of the earliest Christian worship song? Reformed Presbyterian History Professor (Geneva/RPTS), William H. Russell, gives the following summary of the evidence:
It seems that evidence is lacking to support the use of non-Scriptural songs in praise until the fourth century, after the church gained legal standing in the Roman empire.  During the fourth and fifth centuries, many other doctrines and practices came into the church which we would not accept as Scripturaly warranted.  However, the question of exclusive Psalmody cannot be solved from historical evidence alone (Russell, 4).
Can Russell’s reading of the historical evidence stand up to scrutiny? His report comports with the reading of the historical evidence in such works as Mike Bushell’s Songs of Zion, the United Presbyterian The Psalms in Worship, and Rowland Ward’s The Psalms in Christian Worship. 
            A short reprise of this material will be useful.  Rowland Ward treats Pre-Reformation Christian Praise in chapter seven of his book.
Much of the difficulty connected with the subject arises from reading back our modern distinctions into the early writings, and from carelessness arising from controversial motives.  It is necessary to understand clearly that in the early post-aposolic period the word psalm was not always used in reference to a composition in the Psalter… Similarly, the word hymn in the early period can cover anything that is said or recited in rhythm as part of worship…. There is no certain basis for regarding the rhythmic passages in the New Testament as fragments of song sung in Christian worship, and no warrant for us so to use them.  The two passages referring to “Spirit-inspired psalms, hymns and songs’ most naturally refer to the Psalter, and certainly the Psalter was in general use from the beginning.  (51-2).
Ward then reports the information regarding Pliny’s letter to Trajan (see below).  The next reference he gives is to Justin Martyr’s Apology, which is variously interpreted (52).  Citing The Small Labyrinth (anon., c. 200 AD), Ward tells us:
It was directed at the Monarchian heresy which denied the true deity of Jesus Christ, and it refers to the existence of Christian songs in this way:  “And how many psalms and songs, written by the faithful brethren from the beginning, celebrate Christ the Word of God, speaking of him as divine”[5]  … This quotation uses psalms to refer to compositions not in the Psalter.  Second, the pasage does not imply that such compositions were used in public worship but the contrary.  For the appeal is not to the formal usage of the church, but to the piety of individual believers as expressed in song.  [He cites Schaff and Wace in support].  (53).
Ward referrs to Clement of Alexandria, then turns to Tertullian’s testimony “to the practice of solo singing at the Christian love feasts: “Each is asked to stand forth and sing, as he can, a hymn to God, either one from Holy Scriptures or one of his own composing” [Apology, 39].  Ward admits this as:
the earliest unambiguous reference to uninspired songs in Christian worship.  It is dated about AD 197, shortly prior to Tertullian’s involvement in the Montanist[6] schism, but could already reflect his leanings in the charismatic direction of that schism.  As a sung testimony rather than congregational praise it may have affinities with the practice which could be implied in 1 Corinthians 14:15b (54). 
After touching upon an ambiguous citation from Origen (AD 254), Ward turns to the question of “Hymns and Heretics,” reciting Eusebius’ telling of the story of Monarchian heretic Paul of Samosata who composed hymns to be sung in his own honor. Ward tells us that his
own belief is that certain explicitly trinitarian doxologies were coming into use which offended Paul.  He condemned them and brought in liturgical formulas expressive of his own teaching, and even promioting their use by female choristers….Paul’s case is interesting because it …shows that the practice of supplementing the Psalter with uninspired (‘modern’) material was of recent origin in the Antiochan Church in AD 268, at least so far as public worship was concerned (55).
He accounts for the upsurge of orthodox Trinitarian hymnody as stimulated by their use by the heretics.  He mentions the Gnostic Valentinus (135-165 AD), the Odes of Solomon, and the 150 songs which Bardesanes of Syria (154-222 AD) composed to replace the Psalter (“deserting David’s truth and perserving David’s numbers”)[7].  “Ephraem of Syria (154-272) found these songs such a menace that he composed orthodox hymns which could be sung to the same tunes in order to counteract the spread of Gnostic error” (55) [8].  The Arians later composed heretical hymns which were counteracted by the orthodox hymns, though Ward questions their introduction into the worship of the church “to a marked extent” (56).  Ephraem, Gregory Nazianzen and Ambrose are regarded as “the fathers of hymnology,” writing in the latter half of the 4th century.  The Councils of Laodicea (c. 360AD) and Chalcedon (451 AD) “forbade the use of ‘private psalms’ in the church.”  Ward indicates the possibility that this may not have forbidden hymns introduced by proper authority[9], but “some think all compositions other than the songs of Scripture are meant. At any rate, there was economy in the use of non-Biblical material alongside some differences in practice.”  Ward is fair in reporting:
The Second Council of Braga, Portugal (about AD 563) excluded all poetical compositions outside the Scriptures (canon 12), whilst the Second Council of Tours, France (AD 567) stated that the hymns of Ambrose were commonly used in the service “yet nothing hinders us to repeat others whose authors are known” (canon 23).  The Fourth Council of Toledo, Spain, (AD 633) defended the use of uninspired hymns against some who objected to  them on the grounds that they were not in the canonical Scriptures nor supported by the sanction of Apostolic tradition (canon 13).  The Council cited Matthew 26:30 in support of its decision.  Ironically, the ‘hymn’ there referred to [is] universally believed to have been [a] portion of the Hallel…. This Council also cites Eph. 5:19 in favour of uninspired hymns [and] argued that consistency would require the objectors to drop that which none scrupled, namely, certain additions to the song of the Angels (Luke 2:14) and prayers of human composition.  It concluded by threatening with excommunication those who rejected the use of hymns composed by Ambrose and Hilary” (56). 
Of course, by this time, Ward laments, “formal liturgy” was solidifying and congregational singing was being replaced by the use of the choir.  Yet, the clergy had to memorize the Psalter (Nicea II, 787 AD), which Ward uses to challenge us: “How do we compare with such a standard today?” His conclusions are instructive:
The rule of our faith is not church history but the written word of God.  Nevertheless, we do well to learn the lessons church history can teach us.  We can draw the following conclusions:
1.       If the Apostles encouraged the composition and use of uninspired compositions in the churches, it is rather difficult to account for the absence of any mention of such songs in the literature, and for the strong opposition in the orthodox church to their introduction.
2.       Religious poetry and songs were composed by Christians from an early period, as was natural and right, but the character of such compositions and the use made of them are not clear since very little has been preserved.  Solo recitation or singing of uninspired material is definitely attested around 200 AD as a feature of some Christian meetings.
3.       Whatever the private devotional practices of the early Christians, the congregational singing of the Psalter and a few additional Bible passages is characteristic of the ordered worship of the church until 300-350 AD.  During the next 100-150 years uninspired compositions came to more public view, but relatively few are used in public worship.
4.       The conflict with heresies leads to suspicion as to the propriety of non-Biblical material, and to restricted use of it.  The development of formal liturgies operates to exclude congregational singing as well as the use of non-canonical material - a characteristic of the church for 1000 years until the Reformation. (57).
This extensive recitation of Ward’s Pre-Reformation history gives us a good taste of how Excusive psalmody advocates deal with the evidence.  Michael Bushell’s account is a bit fiestier in some respects, and it may be worth touching upon a few points:
The introduction of uninspired hymns into the worship of the Church was a gradual process, and it was not until the fourth century that the practice became widespread…. The paucity of extant hymns from the early centuries of the Church is rather striking and can only be explained [emphasis added] as a result of the firm adherence of the Church as a whole to the inspired Psalms.
Bushell cites Schaff, who mentions the Gloria in Excelsis, the Te Deum, the “Ter Sanctus” and “several ancient liturgical prayers.” Schaff concludes:. 
Excepting these hymns in rhythmic prose, the Greek church of the first six centuries produced nothing in this field which has had permanent value or general use.  It long adhered almost exclusively to the Psalms of David, who, as Chrysostom says, was first, middle, and last in the assemblies of the Christians[10]:  And it had, in opposition to heretical predilictions, even a decided aversion to the public use of uninspired songs. (Bushell, 156-7),
Bushell continues, “There are a number of other facts which conspire to prove that uninspired hymns were few and far between during the first three centuries of the Christian era.  Extant accounts, for example, of searches made for the books of the Christians during times of persecution, make no mention of hymnals, whereas the canonical Scriptures, and especially copies of the psalter, are frequently mentioned.  Jerome mentions that he learned the psalms as a child and continued to sing them in his old age” (157).  Bushell’s reconstruction of the rise of orthodox hymns is interesting:  “Certainly there was a reaction in the Church to the new heretical hymns, but it was based on the fact that the Church had long adhered to the Psalms in worship, to the exclusion of human hymns.  There was a reaction to this new movement because it challenged that adherence.  It is important to realize that there is no evidence for the widespread use of orthodox but uninspired hymns in the church until after the use of heretical hymns had become common as a means of spreading error” (157, emphasis added).  While this is a possible reason, the evidence Bushell himself cites does not prove his case. Why did the orthodox react with their own hymns if the adherence to the Psalms alone was so strong?[11]  In his treatment of the citation from Tertullian’s Apology, Bushell asserts that this was individual song (not congregational) and that Tertullian’s Montanist charismatic environment is “not representative of the Church as a whole” (163). 
            While the historical accounts of advocates of Exclusive Psalmody could be multiplied, perhaps we need to consider just what we are really looking for in examining the historical record.  In “The Psalms in the Old Testament Church” United Presbyterian professor, D. A. McClenahan (Allegheny, PA) gives us some  critera for the question of the how historic researches speak to the question of Exclusive Psalmody, which - while applied by him to the OT period - apply across time:
     In the line of argument this subject is second only to the subject of the divine appointment of the Psalter as an exclusive manual of praise.
     Was the Psalter used in divine worship in the Old Testament Church?  Were the Psalms used in connection with the services of the temple and the synagogue? Were they used exclusively in these services?  If these questions can be in the affirmative, then we have solid ground on which to build.  If these questions cannot be answered in the affirmative, then there is an impairment of the foundation on which our doctrine of the exclusive use of the Psalms stands.  In a sense this question may be said to be the crux of the whole discussion about Psalmody.  (in McNaughter, 1907, 72)
McClenahan’s essay was very up to date. He gives a good account of the traditional use of the Psalms in the Temple and Synagogue. He notes that prayer in the Synagogue included praise in the form of chanting (82-4)[12] Employing a cononical argument, McClenahan answers objections: 
     It is said that other songs than those contained in the Hebrew Psalter were sung in temple and in synagogue services.  The Late Dr. Edgar, of Belfast, in his little book, “Progressive Presbyterianism, “ Prof. Heron, in “the Belfast Witness,” and Dr. D.F. Bonner, in the columns of “The Westminster” (Philadelphia), make much of this objection.  They seem to attempt to make the impression that there was much of this extra-Psalter material used in the Old Testament Church.  But when one takes his pencil and puts down all which any and all of them cite, his is surprised at the meagerness of the material over which they make so much.  Here is the sum of their finding.  On the Sabbath days, the two songs of Moses, contained respectively in Deuteronomy xxxii. And in Exodus xv., were chanted in addition to the Psalm service of the day.  On this point Dr. Lightfoot, in his “Temple Service,” says:  “On the Sabbaths themselves there was an additional sacrifice, according to the appointment.  Num.xxxviii. 9,10.  And at the time of this additional sacrifice the Levites sang Moses’ song, in Deut. xxxii., ‘Hear, o heavens, and I will speak,’ etc., but they sang it not all at one time, but divided it into six parts, and sang one part of  it every Sabbath; and so in six Sabbath days they finished it, and began again.  This did they at the additional morning sacrifice; and, at the evening sacrifice, they sang Moses’ song in Exodus xv.”  This Dr. Lightfoot gives on the authority of Maimonides, in Tamid, cap. 6.  The song of Habakkuk also was probably sung.  This we infer from the superscrption, though there is no account, either in Scripture or in the Talmud and Mishna, of its having been sung.  Prof. Heron claims the songs of Hezekiah were sung. This claim is based on a line contained in Hezekiah’s song of thanksgiving composed on the occasion of his recovery from sickness:  “Jehovah is ready to save me:  Therefore we will sing my songs with stringed instruments all the days of our life in the house of Jehovah.” (Isa. xxxviii.20, R.V.)  The Hebrew word here rendered “sing,” wherever it occurs in the Bible, except three times, is translated “stringed instruments.”  The word rendered “we will sing” should be rendered “we will strike”…. Prof. Heron’s argument is based on what is certainly a mistranslation of this verse.
     Dr. Edgar gives eight extra-Biblical lines which he claims were sung as a doxology on the Day of Atonement.  Dr. Edersheim quotes eleven extra-Biblical lines which he claims were sung in the temple service[13].  …. Now what have we, on good authority, as having been sung in the service of the temple in addition to the Psalms?  The two songs of Moses, and probably the song of Habakkuk - all three of them inspired material, and all found in the Bible.  How much basis this little mite for the making of hymn-books of human composition for the use in the worship of God!  There might have been a dozen other inspired songs sung in the temple without affecting our position in the least.  These songs of Moses and Habakkuk were inspired songs.  Our claim is for an inspired psalmody.  We are not averse to the singing of inspired songs wherever found, such as the songs of Moses.  We do not believe that they will ever be sung.  The singing of inspired songs other than the Psalms has never been a practical question.  It will never be a practical question, for there are less than a score of such songs in the entire Bible that could be sung.  The raising of this question of the singing of inspired songs other than those found in the Psalter has always been a mere quibble.  Those who have raised it have never attempted to have them sung. They have never desired to have them sung. [emphasis added]
     Then the fact that from all the songs prepared by inspired men in the Old Testament times one hundred and fifty were selected to form a manual of praise is indicative of the fact that divine wisdom has been exercised in the selection.  This is significant.  The Psalms were gathered into a book for the express purpose of making a manual of praise for use in the public and private worship of God.   Everyone, so far as I have ever heard, who believes in an inspired Psalmody is perfectly satisfied with the selection that has been made by divine wisdom.  Moses, Hannah, Habakkuk, Jonah, Hezekiah, and others wrote songs, which for historical reasons were retained in their historical place in the Canon, but which were omitted from the permanent praise book of the Church for reasons which seemed good to the divine mind. Doubtless other inspired songs were written, and possibly, for a time sung by the Old Testament Church…. The fact that other inspired songs were once made, and possibly sung, gives the Church no authority to make other songs as substitutes for the Psalms of the Psalter. (in McNaughter, 1907, 84-88)
McClenahan’s moves on to another important objection:
…Many hymns, it is said, were written during the century preceding the coming of Christ, and during His and the Apostolic days, which may well be used in the praise service.  “The Psalms of Solomon,” a collection of eighteen psalms, and “The songs of the Three Children” embodied in the Septuagint version of Daniel are cited as illustrations of this.  It is said that the writing of psalms and hymns and songs after the Old Testament Canon was closed is proof that the Church may use them, and that she may write others for use.  After the Old Testament Canon was closed there were many books written in the style of the Scriptures.  First and Second Esdras, Tobit, Judith, additions to Esther, the Wisdom of Solomon, Ecclesiasticus, Baruch, First, Second, Third and Fourth Maccabees, Enoch, etc., etc., are all of this type. They are religious books; they are similar in their contents to the books of the Bible; some of them are bound up in the Septuagint; and some of them are still in the vulgate. But Protestants do not agree that they shall be used in our pulpits as Sacred Scripture.  The same argument that would take the “Psalms of Solomon” and other hymns into the praise service of the Church would take all these apocryphal books into the reading service of the Church. (ibid. 88).
I had discovered some of the Apocryphal hymns just prior to reading McClenahan’s essay.  It was interesting to see how he anticipates so many of the arguments made in favor of uninspired psalmody.  While we will examine the primary documents a bit further on, I would like to note here that McClenahan’s argument that, If we were to sing these songs, we might as well abandon our Protestant view of the canon which excludes these books from our Scripture readings.  This is begging the question.  The point asserted from these songs (Psalms and Odes of Solomon, for two examples) is that they are not inspired, but were approved and used.  Some were part of books, which themselves never claim inspiration (part of the Protestant case against their inclusion in the Scriptural canon), but which do report the use of various hymns in some sort of public worship settings (see below).  Also, the reason these Odes of the Greek Church are in the Septuagint is that this was a very practical question in the early Church, and contiues to be so in the Liturgical churches. Here is how H.O. Old accounts for some uninspired singing in the early Church:
That a doxology should conclude a reading from the Psalter was a well-established principle when Christians first began to gather for specifically Christian services of worship. No doubt from the very earliest days Christians began to develop specifically Christian doxologies to conclude their psalm prayers.  Both Basil of Caesarea a          nd John Cassian mention use of such doxologies in the fourth century.
As time went along the Church began to find particular significance in the use of a trinitarian doxology at the conclusion of psalm readings.  There have always been those who have had trouble with the idea that the Christian Church should use Jewish psalms in its worship, and for such people the Gloria patri makes the psalms Christian.  It has sometimes been said that it baptizes the psalms. For some this reasoning may seem a bit lacking in charity.  But it was only natural when Christians used the psalms in Church that they should develop trinitarian doxologies to conlcude this part of the service. In fact, by the fourt century, most of the doxologies they developed were trinitarian.  Unlike the actual psalms, the doxologies that concluded the psalms were not considered canonical. Though it seems to have been common practice to compose psalm paraphrases or psalm pendants such as we have in the Odes of Solomon, Christians wanted to maintain the praying of the canonical Psalter in their regular prayers.  Psalm paraphrases had their place but they were not to replace the canonical psalter. Christians would never have dreamed of tampering with a canonical text, but they felt perfectly free to elaborate the liturgical setting of the liturgical texts. When they elaborated the doxology they were free to elaborate it in a Christian sense.  (Old, Leading, 63).
Old’s account for the rise of the doxology, and his mention of the Odes of Solomon, provide a reasonable assessment as to the relationship between inspired and uninspired praises, while properly giving “pride of place” to the canonical Psalter.
            One further citation from a different U.P. minister will serve to conclude our review of  some of the responsible proponents of Exclusive Psalmody (EP), before turning to other accounts of the general Biblical and Patristic periods.  J.D. Irons of Oakmont, PA also wrote on “The Psalms in the Old Testament Church” in The Psalms in Worship.  Irons writes:
Not only does the Psalter fit every requirement of the praise service of the Old Testament Church, but it does so to the exclusion of all other songs.  In all the history of the Jews, both sacred and profane, there is not the slightest trace [!?] of any other body of praise.  It is true that there are songs found in the Mishna and Talmud which purport to have been used by the Jews in their praise service but there is no good evidence that these are earlier than the days of Christ, and even if they were earlier than His day and were used in connection with the Psalms, or even to their exclusion, their absence from the inspired Book is their condemnation.  They are to be classed with the sacrifices offered in the days of the prophet Malachi, when they placed polluted bread upon God’s altar, and offered the torn and the lame to the sick for sacrifice.  They are to be placed on a level with the traditions which received the severe condemnation of Christ because they made void the law.  These so-called songs of the Talmudic books compared to the songs of the psalter are as the torn and the lame and the sick compared to the unblemished sacrificial lamb that God ordained. … At any rate, out of all the songs of Israel, numerous as they doubtless were, only one hundred and fifty appear in the sacred manual.
     Again, the evidence of divine guidance appears from the fact that there are some inspired songs in the Old Testament that do not find a place in the Psalter.  The songs of Moses, Deborah, Hannah, and Habakkuk are songs of praise to God, yet they are not included in the volume of sacred song.  If these were an oversight, then erring men compiled the Psalter, and if they erred in the omission, we have no assurance they did not err in making the collection, and consequently confidence in the inspiration of the Psalter is wrecked.  If they did not err, then it follows that something more is needed than the inspiration of a song to entitle it to a place in the Psalter; it must have divine appointment.. (Irons, ibid. 96-8).
The presupposition of this argument is that the Psalter was appointed as an exclusive manual of praise in worship for all times.  Irons is even willing to raise the ante to the point of questioning the inspiration of the canonical Psalter, if EP is to be put in peril. McClenahan’s critera listed above are quite reasonable.  His own answer to serious objections from within the canon of inspiration is, oddly, to call it a quibble, not a practical question. If we find other songs sung in Scripture that are not Psalms, ‘Well, at least they were inspired!’ Maybe we could use them, but “no one really wants to!”  Irons goes beyond this and is willing to condemn all uninspired compositions, and by clear inference, even other inspired songs used in worship, as lame, sick sheep, unfit for the sacrifice of praise.  Circular arguments are not necessarily false (Cf. vanTil), but the assumption that the Psalter was always, or ever, intended as an exclusive manual of praise is based upon no particular text of Scripture and flies in the face of clear Old Testament evidence (Dt. 32), and is even more difficult to sustain in the face of the New Testament canticles (Luke; Rev.) and the worship of the early Church.  It is something assumed, but not demonstrated. 
II.  History from Other Scholars
            Now we turn to other accounts of the history.  We must ask, “Who is guilty of special pleading?”  Hughes Oliphant Old outlines what shall become a familiar picture: 
The Psalms formed the core of the praises of the New Testament church; nevertheless the earliest  Christians sang praises other than the one hundred fifty canonical psalms and the occasional psalms or canticles found elsewhere in Scripture.  In the first place we find a number of Christian psalms such as the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55), the Song of Zechariah (Luke 1:68-79), and the Song of Simeon (Luke 2:29-32).  These are clearly Christian psalms written in the literary genre of the Hebrew votive thanksgiving psalms.  There is a sense in which these Christian Psalms complete the Old Testament Psalms. … The canticles in the Gospel of Luke are the core of Christian praise.  From these Christian psalms Christian hymns rapidly developed.  Yet these Christian hymns went beyond the Hebrew literary forms and took on Greek poetic features more familiar to the new Gentile congregations which were springing up over the whole Mediterranean world…. ([e.g.]Philippians 2:5-11; Colossians 1:15-20)…. There is little question but what the first Christians did write hymns to Christ and sing them in their worship side by side with the psalms which they sang as fulfilled prophecies of the coming Messiah.  In fact very shortly after New Testament times we read  in one of the letters of the Roman governor Pliny to the Emperor Trajan a short description of a Christian worship service.  It clearly says that the Christians sang hymns to Christ.
    There is another kind of singing which we find in the New Testament. In the pages of the New Testament we often hear the worship of heaven. In the Gospel of Luke we hear the song of the angels, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men.” In the Revelation we hear the angels worshipping God, “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty.”  It is said that the angels never cease to sing this hymn.  They sing it over and over again as they sing Hallelujah again and again.  But perhaps the most interesting thing we read about this heavenly hymnody is that in heaven the saints sing “The Song of Moses and the Lamb.” The Song of Moses is the hymn we find in Exodus … (15:1).  This song of Moses was regularly sung in the Temple in New Testament times.  Was “the Song of Moses and the Lamb a Christian version of Exodus 15 or was it an entirely new composition based on the Song of Moses?  Perhaps it is a hymn like the one John hears.  “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might for ever and ever!” (Revelation 5:13).  We cannot say exactly. The hymns of the book of Revelation surely reflect the praises of the earliest Christians…. Scholars have also pointed to the fact that the hymns of Revelation are very closely patterned on the Temple hymnody. They are a Christian reworking of the seraphic hymn of Isaiah, the Song of Moses,  and the Psalms. That at any rate is the way some scholars would put it. The way the early church understood it, however, would have been  more like this: just as the architectural structure of the Temple followed the patterns of the heavenly sanctuary, so the hymns of the Temple followed the pattern of the angelic worship.  It is the hymns of Revelation which are more nearly like the heavenly worship.  John heard the heavenly worship more clearly than either David or Isaiah.  He understood that the Song of Moses was in reality the song of the Lamb.  It is for this reason that the canticles, reworked in a Christian manner, became increasingly important in the worship of the Church.   (Old, 1984, 44-46 [on Pliny, Cf. R. Ward in footnotes]).
Philip Schaff concurs with the general picture painted by Old:
The SONG, a form of prayer, in the festive dress of poetry and the elevated language of inspiration, raising the congregation to the highest pitch of devotion, and giving it a part in the heavenly harmonies of the saints. This passed immediately, with the psalms of the Old Testament, those inexhaustible treasures of spiritual experience, edification, and comfort, from the temple and the synagogue into the Christian church. The Lord himself inaugurated psalmody into the new covenant at the institution of the holy Supper, Comp. Matt. 26:30; Mark 14: 26 and Paul expressly enjoined the singing of “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” as a means of social edification. Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16. But to this precious inheritance from the past, whose full value was now for the first time understood in the light of the New Testament revelation, the church, in the enthusiasm of her first love, added original, specifically Christian psalms, hymns, doxologies, and benedictions, which afforded the richest material for Sacred poetry and music in succeeding centuries; the song of the heavenly hosts, for example, at the birth of the Saviour; The “Gloria,”Luke 2:14. the “Nunc dimittis” of Simeon; Luke 2:29 .the “Magnificat” of the Virgin Mary; Luke 1:46 sqq  the  “Benedictus” of Zacharias; Luke 1:68 sqq. the thanksgiving of Peter after his miraculous deliverance; Acts 4:24-30. Comp. Ps. 2. the speaking with tongues in the apostolic churches, which, whether song or prayer, was always in the elevated language of enthusiasm; the fragments of hymns scattered through the Epistles; and the lyrical and liturgical passages, the doxologies and antiphonies of the Apocalypse. 
[Schaff's footnote: Eph.5:14; I Tim.3:16; II Tim.2:11-13; I Pet.3:10-12. The quotation is introduced by dio legei and pistos o logos. The rhythmical arrangement and adjustment in these passages, especially the first two, is obvious, Westcott and Hort have marked it in their Greek Testament (in meter). (I Tim.3:16) is undoubtedly a quotation. I Pet. 3:10-12, which reads like a psalm, is likewise metrically arranged by Westcott and Hort. Js.1:17, though probably not a quotation, is a complete hexameter.] (Schaff, Vol. I, 369-70).
Beyond a doubt the use of  the Psalter was early incorporated into the worship of the Christian Church. In what manner, and to what degree is disputed (Foley, 74, 96ff).    Though it has often been assumed that “Psalm-singing” was carried over from the singing of the Synagogue (True Psalmody, 1859; Lawson, 1879) the evidence that anything was sung in the Synagogue before the Christian era has been called into question.(vide infra.).  An elaborate liturgy has been preserved (at least from the second century AD), but the evidence of the order of the readings and lessons is found well after the New Testament:
Many of the prayers [in Synagogue] contained phrases from the Psalms; but the introduction of Psalm singing in synagogue worship is a matter of dispute.  Some authorities believe that from early times Psalms appointed for certain days and festivals in the Temple services were used in the synagogue and from this custom the use of psalmody in the services of the early Christians was derived..  Others believe that psalmody in Christian worship ante-dated its introduction in the synagogue.  (Shepherd, 1976, 26).
I believe that Werner’s researches (1984 - see below) with respect to the recently-discovered Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS) give good evidence for an early and genuine Synagogue liturgy.  In any case, 
By the fourth century the memorization of the Psalms by many Christians and their habitual use as songs in worship by all Christians about whom we know were matters of long standing tradition.  (Holladay, 1996, 165).
The earliest Christian witnesses show us that the Psalms were used between the reading of the three lessons (Old Testament, Gospel, Epistle) in the Liturgy (later reduced to two readings).  Similar usage was common to East and West.  The Psalms were also chanted in their entirety in the Christian Daily Offices, and “propers” were developed for the various seasons of the Church year (Shepherd, 1976, 27; Werner, S.B.II, 73-9).  The monasteries developed the discipline of chanting through the whole Psalter every week[14] in their eight Daily Offices (Holladay, 1976, 175; 372), but (once again) this also included the song of Moses in Deuteronomy 32 (Shepherd, 1976., 176).  Secular Priests and literate laymen in the Holy Roman Empire often followed this practice as well.  At times the only portion of Scripture allowed to the laity under Rome was the Psalter.  “A Layman may not read a lection in the church nor sing the alleluia but only the psalms and responses without the alleluia,” says an early eighth century Frankish book of Church Discipline (Holladay, 177-8). 
The early evidence regarding singing of the congregation is discussed by McKinnon:
…The reader will note numerous clear examples of responsorial psalmody ranging chronologically from Tertullian to Augustine.  Responsorial psalmody is understood here in the conventional sense of chanting of the psalm verses by a soloist with the congregation adding a single verse, or an exclamation like Alleluia, in response to each verse.  The abundance of references makes it clear that this is the normal manner of psalmodic performance.  And what of the other type of psalmody generally mentioned in the same breath as responsorial psalmody - the so-called antiphonal psalmody?  In the early medieval sources this type appears in its commonly understood meaning of two choirs singing psalm verses in alternation.  There is, however, just one example of dual choir psalmody given…from Basil’s Epistle 207, and it fails to use the term antiphonal.  The term does begin to appear, generally as a noun, in late fourth century monastic circumstances like those described by Egeria and Cassian, but here there is nothing suggesting a dual choir performance.  In short, antiphonal psalmody in the early Christian period is one of those ‘perplexities’ referred to above, for which this volume can serve at best only as a starting point.
        Turning finally to Eucharistic psalmody in the fourth century, one observes unambiguous references to just two places in the service - the communion and the gradual.  There is a small number of late fourth century reference to a communion psalm - John Chrysostom, Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem and the Apostolic Constitutions - which make up in explicitness for their paucity.  References to the gradual psalm, conversely, are plentiful but offer difficulties of interpretation…. Most references…suggest the following hypothesis:  the gradual psalm was originally simply one of the Old Testament readings of the pre-eucharistic ‘service of the Word’.  Thus prior to the fourth century it would have figured occasionally, perhaps even frequently, among the readings, but in the late fourth century - that period of singular enthusiasm for psalmody - it was singled out and made a discrete musical event at every Eucharist.  … Augustine in his Retractationes [mentions] that eucharistic psalmody was looked upon by some of his contemporaries as an objectionable innovation.  (McKinnon, 1987, 10-11). 
Byzantine musciologist, Egon Wellesz, writes:
In the early days of Christianity psalms were sung in the way customary in the Jewish Synagogue. The precentor sang the whole psalm, and the congregation responded after each verse with an interpolated phrase*.  The performance varied from simple recitation to elaborate cantillation with the character of the feast and in accorance with the liturgical prescription for that particular part of the service. The service of the Temple, with its big choirs of singers, required a different and more splended performance; there the psalms were sung by alternating choirs, accompanied by instruments, as we learn form various passages in the Old Testment.
     The earliest evidence that the Psalter was sung by alternating choirs in christian churches it to be found in the patristic writings of the fourth centrury, but we may assume that this was so from the beginning, since we know from Philo (b.c. 30 B.C.) that the practice was not confined to the service in the Temple…(35-6)
Wellesz continues in his footnote:
*The Byzantine Church took over the practice of inserting between the psalm verse short phrases which were called upoyalma.  The Antiphon consists of verses, taken from a psalm, each of them answered by a recurring phrase. This can be shown from the Antiphon from the first psalm, sung by the lectors, the anagnwstai, during the Vigil of the Nativity:
stix. a     makarioj anhr oj ouk eporeuqeh en boulh asebwn:                   …(v. 1)
                                     antilabou mou, Kurie:
stix. b     oti hinwskei Kurioj odon dikaiwn:                                            …(v. 6)
                                  antilabou mou, Kurie:
stix. g     kai odoj asebwn apoleitai:                                                      ...(v. 6)
                    antilabou mou, Kurie, k.t.l.       (Wellesz, 35n.)
The earliest description of Sunday liturgy of the church is related by Justin, a teacher and apologist at Rome in the second century, but he does not mention psalm-singing specifically.  In the Latin church the psalm sung between the various lections came to be called the “Gradual” because it was sung from the step (gradus) of the ambo or pulpit where the lesson was read or intoned (Shepherd, 1976, 37).  “The Gradual is the earliest form of psalmody we can trace in the Eucharist.  It was chanted by a cantor, with a refrain by the congregation, or later by the choir…. The president of the liturgical assembly chose whatever selections he desired…” though the Hallel Psalms (113-118) were assigned to Easter has they had been by the Jews to Passover (ibid. 38). 
Another characteristic of antiphonal psalmody was the use of a doxology, the Gloria Patri, at the end of the psalm.  Its origins go back to the beginnings of antiphonal psalmody at Antioch.  Though its purpose was to give a Christian ending to the Psalms, its earliest forms were a matter of dispute with the Arian heretics, who preferred, “Glory to the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.”  In order to stress the equality of the three Persons of the Trinity the orthodox form in the Eastern Churches came to be:
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
Now and always and to the ages of ages.  (Shepherd, 43).
In his second volume, Schaff picks up the history of Song (the redundancy here is Schaff’s):
SONG. The Church inherited the psalter from the synagogue, and has used it in all ages as an inexhaustible treasury of devotion. The psalter is truly catholic in its spirit and aim; it springs from the deep fountains of the human heart in its secret communion with God, and gives classic  expression to the religious experience of all men in every age and tongue. This is the best proof of its inspiration. Nothing like it can be found in all the poetry of heathendom. The psalter was first enriched by the inspired hymns which saluted the birth of the Saviour of the world, the Magnificat of Mary, the Benedictus of Zacharias, the Gloria in Excelsis of the heavenly host, and the Nunc Dimittis of the aged Simeon. These hymns passed at once into the service of the Church, to resound through all successive centuries, as things of beauty which are “a joy forever.” Traces of primitive Christian poems can be found throughout the Epistles and the Apocalypse. The angelic anthem (Luke 2:14) was expanded into the Gloria in Excelsis, first in the Greek church, in the third, if not the second, century, and afterwards in the Latin, and was used as the morning hymn.   It is one of the classical forms of devotion, like the Latin Te Deum of later date. The evening hymn of the Greek church is less familiar and of inferior merit. The following is a free translation:
“Hail! cheerful Light, of His pure glory poured,/ Who is th’ Immortal Father, Heavenly, Blest,
Holiest of Holies—Jesus Christ our Lord!/ Now are we come to the Sun’s hour of rest,
The lights of Evening round us shine,/ We sing the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost Divine!
Worthiest art Thou at all times, to be sung/ With undefiled tongue,/ Son of our God, Giver of Life alone!/ Therefore, in all the world, Thy glories, Lord, we own.”
An author towards the close of the second century could appeal against the Artemonites, to a multitude of hymns in proof of the faith of the church in the divinity of Christ: “How many psalms and odes of the Christians are there not, which have been written from the beginning by believers, and which, in their theology, praise Christ as the Logos of God?” Tradition says, that the antiphonies, or responsive songs; were introduced by Ignatius of Antioch. The Gnostics, Valentine and Bardesanes also composed religious songs; and the church surely learned the practice not from them, but from the Old Testament psalms.
        The oldest Christian poem preserved to us which can be traced to an individual author is from the pen of the profound Christian philosopher, Clement of Alexandria, who taught theology in that city before AD 202. It is a sublime but somewhat turgid song of praise to the Logos, as the divine educator and leader of the human race, and though not intended and  adapted for public worship, is remarkable for its spirit and antiquity. (History of the Christian Church - Vol. 2, by Philip Schaff, p. 170;  190 -191)
Lucien Deiss mentions Clement’s songs, saying “it is not certain that the extracts we present here were used in the liturgy of the Church of Alexandria. What is certain , however, is that they nourished the devotion of the Christians of the day.  To this extent, they reflect, in some degree at least, the official liturgical prayer of the Alexandrian Church” (Deiss, Springtime, 115).
III. A summary of Psalm (and other Song) usage from Moses to the Medieval Period
            The introduction to Carl Bernhard Moll’s commentary, The Psalms (part of the Lange and Schaff commentary series) gives a helpful summary of the use of the Psalms from Old Testament times to to the Medieval period and beyond. While his ‘at large’ treatment of the use of the Psalms in the liturgy of temple, synagogue and early Church involves some speculative reconstruction, nevertheless Moll’s work stands up better than might have been expected in the light of modern liturgical studies, which employ a critical “hermeneutics of suspicion” methodology (Bradshaw, esp. 14).  Moll will give us information in roughly historic order, and serve as a launch pad for critical comparison with recent scholarship, and for various observations regarding our special concerns as modern Psalm singers.  Redundancies will abound as various scholars cover much the same ground.  My citations, however, are necessarily excessively brief. [15]
        All the Psalms were not originally composed for liturgical use, nor with direct reference to the Church of God…. They are adapted, however, by their contents and form, to such an application, and they served that liturgical purpose in part in the first temple, but especially in the second temple.  Some psalms,  moreover, were destined from the first for the divine service of the temple….
        …the use of Ps. cvi. In 1 Chron. xvi…at least establishes the custom of that period to sing Psalms in the temple on festal occasions…. But the Chronicler must have been a contemporary of Ezra…his labors fall between 526 and 400 B.C…in the latter days of the Persian rule, or at the latest early in the Grecian period…. His accounts are still regarded by our modern critics as essentially historical…. This is especially true of David’s regulations for worship, so that we may safely infer from the information given by the Chronicler, that the Psalms were in liturgical use during the period of the first temple. This is favored also by the vow of King Hezekiah to sing his songs in the house of the Lord, Is. xxxviii., 20….
        Aside from [the above],…the formula employed in 1 Chron. xvi. 41, and reappearing 2 Chron. v.13; vii.13; xx.21; Ezra iii.11, taken probably from Ps. cxxxvi., favors the view that the psalms were liturgically employed during the period of the second temple, as songs for festal occasions. … Furthermore, the agreement of many Psalms, especially in the fourth and fifth books, with the prayers of Ezra ix., and Neh. ix.; and finally the musical and liturgical remarks in the Psalms themselves, which are found… in the Septuag., which was composed during the period of the second temple, prove that the Psalms were at that time liturgically employed.
        From the Talmud…we learn more particularly, that on the first day of the week, at the morning sacrifice, Levites were appointed to sing Ps. xxiv; on the second day Ps xlviii; on the third day Ps. lxxxii.; on the fourth day Ps. xcii.; on the fifth day Ps.lxxxi.; on the sixth day Ps.xciii.; on the seventh day Ps. xcii…[16].
Alfred Edersheim  supplements instructively, “At the close of the additional Sabbath sacrifice, when its drink-offering was brought, the Levites sang the ‘Song of Moses’ in Deut. XXXII. This ‘hymn’ was divided into six portions, for as many Sabbaths. ....At the evening sacrifice on the Sabbath the song of Moses in Exod. XV was sung.” (Edersheim, Temple, 188). Continuing with Moll…
For the chief and intermediate feast days there were other psalms prescribed concerning which tradition is partly at variance and partly silent. [the pattern of Psalms used in connection with Trumpets, Passover, Succoth is enumerated]…and on the eight days of the Chanukah or festival of the dedication of the Temple, introduced by Jud. Maccab., the hallel Pss. cxiii.-cxviii. Was a part of the festal service.  [Egyptian, great, little hallel, etc.]…. On the feast of Passover the hallel was so divided, that Pss. cxiii. and cxiv. were sung before the meal, before taking the second festal cup; Pss. cxv-cxviii. After the meal, after filling the fourth cup.  At the time of the full moon, the hallel was customarily sung, although not legally prescribed….
        After the destruction of the temple, prayer came to occupy more and more the place of sacrifice, and the synagogue service became the vital centre of Jewish life, “the only bearer and banner of their nationality, in the ruin of all their other institutions (Zunz…..).  Its two parts consisted in the reading of the Scriptures and singing of psalms and other psalm-like passages.  The reading was conducted by the teachers, and those versed in the Scriptures…and it was connected with expositions (Midrash).  The singing was conducted by the leaders in prayer, “the representatives of the assembly,” who delivered in a singing style, Psalms or songs of a psalm-like character which were introduced gradually, and grew up out of free renderings of passages from the Psalms and other biblical sentences. This poetry…was like that series of exclamations and praises resembling litanies used on the day of atonement, or those declarations of Divine pardon composed of passages of Scripture which were connected with penitential prayers, and which were called selicha, and were accompanied with hymns in rhyme (pismon) in the recitation of which the congregation united, answering with passages from the bible or other responses, (Zunz, Die synag. Poesie, S. 89). This poetry was originally composed of fragments without rhyme and metre, usually with an alphabetical arrangement of the lines or sentences….the biblical passage with which it concluded…was selected with special reference to the significance of the day, or its striking effect upon the ear or mind.
Before we continue with Moll,  modern Dutch Calvinist, van Olst relates the following on song and Scripture readings in the Synagogue:
The Torah has been divided into 54 sections, called Sedarim, so that the whole of it can be read from week to week in a year …. The sidra is not so much read aloud as chanted by the precentor or hazan.  The precentor also sings the liturgical songs and the prayers.  The hazan, not the rabbi, leads the service.  The task of the rabbi lies in the house of study. (van Olst,  62). 
Moll, again:
There was, however, for centuries, no fixed arrangement of prayers, and no prayer-book to which the leaders in prayer were restricted [in Synagogue]. They exercised, in fact, the greatest freedom in the choice of psalms and hymns for divine service, and in the manner of their delivery, and not unfrequently appeared themselves in the character of poets or singers, with original productions*. The usage of the West (Palestine) extended itself over the hymns of Christians, particularly German nations, whilst the usage of the East (Babylon) established itself in the countries of Islam and in Spain.  (Moll, 12-14). ….
As to *original compositions, at least in song, it is interesting to hear what Werner has to say about “Philo of Alexandria [who was] an older contemporary of Jesus and a sympathizer with the Therapeutes, the Egyptian branch of the Essenes” (p. 32):  Philo gives “details of the hymns sung at the sect’s worship…: 
…the President [of the sacred banquet] rises, and sings a hymn composed as an address to God, either a new one of his own composition or an old one by poets of the past, who have left behind them hymns in many metres and melodies, hexameters and iambics, lyrics suitable for processions or libations and before the altars or for the chorus whilst standing or dancing, set in most flexible stanzas well proportioned for the various turns.  After him all the others follow in turn… as they are obliged to sing the refrains they have to chant closing verses:  then they sound forth, all men and women together.”
This is Werner’s own translation from Philo’s de vita contemplavita, M 484.  He notes that “A very similar description is offered in Clement of Alexandria, Paedagogus, II, 4.  (Werner, 39, 221n.).  As we pick up Moll again, note his important mention of the various styles of delivery of the written Word among the Jews -
The Psalms were not simply poems, originally thought out, and intended to be read, according to Hupfeld’s appropriate remarks, comm. iv. 439.  They were rather sung, or intended to be sung, and that with musical accompaniment.  This is manifest…from their liturgical purpose and use.  The delivery of the Psalms however was not so much a singing as “an oriental style of declamation, with a lively modulation of the voice…and depended on the accents”[emphasis added].[17] Simon Dureau even alludes to three styles of delivery for the Bible, one for the Pentateuch, one for the Prophets, and one for the metrical books (Psalms , Proverbs and Job).  He remarks, however, that the melodies alluded to have not been preserved.  In ancient ritual books, two styles of singing, are indicated by the accents (Zunz…), but we have no definite knowledge in regard to them, and the entire theory of accentuation, is obscure and open to controversy.  We are only sure, that the accent did not simply indicate the emphasis and division of sentences; but referred also to the tones in which they were to be delivered, and furthermore that the metrical accents were from the most ancient time, different in figure and position from those of the other twenty-one sacred books.  …. Yet the ancient metrical modulation is still unknown, and the investigation of original sources, gives us but a fragmentary knowledge of the intonation of a few metrical accents[18].  … Jost…had previously pointed out the peculiar methods of employing these accents, in singing the Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Sol. It is still uncertain, however, whether the Occidental chanting of the German and Polish Jews, or the Oriental style of the Jews of Italy and Spain, have preserved most accurately their original character. …in Baghdad (where Benjamin of Tudela in the [12th] century…found a peculiar style of singing Psalms with musical accompaniment) there were several traditional melodies, yes several for particular Psalms…. The conjecture of Gerberti… is especially worthy of attention…that the eight so-called Church tones of the Gregorian chants, have preserved the remnants of the ancient temple song…. Not only are eight musical accents frequently alluded to, by the Rabbis (neginoth), but the eight Church tones, are to be found in the Armenian Church…and a kindred style of singing also in the Greek Church…. The accentuation was neither purely logical nor purely musical, but of a rhythmical character, every masoretic verse forming a rhythmical period, whose members were marked by a rising and falling inflection…. (Moll, 28-29).
…. At the time of the second temple the congregation responded amen to the Levites, who sung the Psalm for every day of the week,  with the accompaniment of music.  According to the tradition of the Talmud, a sign was given upon the cymbals whereupon at least twelve Levites, standing upon the broad step of the short stairway leading from the place of the congregation to the outer court of the priests, at the conclusion of the morning prayer, while the officiating priests poured out the wine offering, and playing together upon nine cithers, two harps, and one cymbal, began the Psalm to be sung, while the younger Levites not joining in the singing, stood at the feet of the older Levites[19], strengthening the music with their instruments. …. The people fell down in adoration between these pauses of the song, Lev. ix.24, 1 Kings xviii.39;…
In the hallel and some other Psalms, the congregation joined in the singing after the first sentence, which it repeated, and after the second sentence, with that hallelujah. The rendering of the hallel was predominantly recitative. … (Moll, 30).
Regarding how the Psalter contributed to the shape of the whole liturgy, van Olst asserts that,
The Psalms had a place in the liturgy of the temple.  During and after the Exile - a period in which the synagogue developed…the Psalms begin to form an integral part of synagogal worship.  One can even say that the liturgy of the synagogue originated, in large part, from the Psalms. …
Interestingly, in Sketches of Jewish Social Life in the Days of Christ, Edersheim states that "there was no service of 'praise' in the Synagogue." (p.268) The liturgy consisted of the "shima," benedictions, prayers, eulogies, readings from the Law and the Prophets, and homilies.[20]  However, there is good evidence that the Psalms were at least chanted, along with the rest of the Scripture readings, as part of the service of the early synagogue.  The nature of chanting is worth some further comment.  Roman Catholic Capuchin Liturgist, Edward Foley, tells us:
It is often suggested that psalmody played a central role in synagogue worship at the dawn of Christianity.  This is not, however, demonstrable from the earliest sources.  As Werner points out, for example, the Mishnah and Talmud are strangely silent about the commonly accepted linkage between scripture readings and psalmic responses [Werner, Sacred Bridge, 1:131].  Positing the existence of scripture readings in the first century C.E. synagogue service, therefore, does not prove the presence of psalmody - except, perhaps, as “parts of the Holy scripture, of the authorized and inspired canon, for reading, just like the other biblical books, which were read in the synagogues as holy words of God” [Mowinckel, The Psalms in Israel’s Worship, 1:88].  Beginning certain services with the recitation of psalms is also a late development, unattested to in the earliest data.  While it is true that the recitation of certain psalms as part of the morning service comes from at least the second century of the common era, this was apparently an optional custom.  For his part, Heinemann gives no attention to psalmody per se in his discussion of statutory elements of synagogue worship.  While the spirit of prayer embodied in the psalms may have influenced synagogal prayer in the first century C.E. – suggested by the incorporation of various psalm phrases into the standard benedictions, and even the composition of new psalm-like pieces for common worship[21]—it is questionable whether psalms were ordinarily sung in first-century synagogue worship.  Rather, as Johann Maier summarizes the psalms were valued first of all as biblical texts, not as a collection of songs.(Foley, 52-3; n. 63).
Was there, then, a service of praise, consisting of Psalm-singing and canticles, or not?  Werner’s  caution anent another question is appropos, “To penetrate this liturgico-historico-calendaric jungle is anything but easy” (S.B.II, 80).
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SPECIAL SECTION II : Cantillation, Psalmody, Chant
Whether the Psalms were sung as an act distinct from the other Scriputre ‘readings’ is doubtful in certain respects, but that they were used is beyond doubt.  In order to address this disputed point, we must here enter upon a sustained discussion of the various types of intonation. Werner writes:
     Quite informative, with respct to the forms of language-born (logogenic) chant, are the Syriac and Hebrew terminologies referring to lectio, cantillation and psalmody.  The first two are regarded as two degrees of elevated speech (root> qr’ and it derivatives), the last-named as musical chant (>z mr and its derivatives).
      On the other hand, it is cantillation and psalmody which belong together, for both make use of definite and definable pitch; the lectio structurized speech; cantillation and psalmody structurize both speech and chant, using two different approaches, about which more later on.
     Lectio and pictched recitation of a text follow its grammatico-syntactic partition, which may or may not be indicated by diacritical marks or signs of punctuation. 
     Psalmody is the highest stage of musical recitation (the chant on one tone), whereby the one tone becomes the tenor or tuba, and certain ornamental deviations form it constitute the punctuating melismata.  The entire text is dominated by grammatical and musical parallalism.  In viewing the various practices of tonal reproduction of a text used in the ancient high cultures, we meet recitation, cantillation, psalmody, the hymnic chant, the melismatic chant, and the lyric or dramatic odes (strrophes, etc.) of the Greeks.  It must by no means be assumed that the historical development of these forms and practices went ‘in orderly fashion’ from a non-syllabic, unorganized chant to syllabism and thence to musically syllabic psalmody, or that any such ‘evolutionary’ or ‘progressive’ principle or law is dicernible. The old dictum natura non facit saltus has become untenable in these days of quantum theory. Hence it is hardly possible to trace the beinnings of a system which assigns just one tone to one syllable. Surely, its origin must lie in language rather than in music, for it is language which operates with syllables.  Moreover the practice of strict syllabism can only date back to a time syllables constituting words were both recognized and counted…. Plain psalmody and musically pitched recitation, being of syllabizing character, are artificial products of high civilizations and intellectual discipline; the practice of a fixed tenor especially is found nowhere but in developed cultures. …
     All such forms are word-bound, they have occasionally been confused; they stand as the group of logogenic melody-types against the pathogenic, musically autonomous melismatic tunes. This distinction was well known to the Rabbis and Church Fathers; in rabbinic literature the logogenic forms are discussed apropos of the Song of the Red Sea (Exod. 15).  About one hundred years later, St. Ambrose, St. Augustine, and other Fathers of the Church showed their familiarity with this problem, as seen in the patristic passages quoted in [Sacred Bride] Vol. 1, Ch. V.  The borderland between lectio, i.e., the articulate declamation and recitation, the rendition of a text upon a single tone, drew the attention of St. Augustine and of St. Cassian, who speaking about angelic psalmody, used the peculiar description ‘Contiguis versibus parili pronuntiatione cantare’ which praises the same kind of parlando-recitation which pleased St. Augustine so well.[22] A. Baumstark was certainly right in sensing behind Cassian’s clumsy Latin phrase the original Greek thought with its operative word stichologein. The expression stands for ‘speaking in verse’ or ‘speaking in strict order’, and, if it has a musical connotation at all, would indicate a well-articulated Sprechgesang, exactly that practice which Augustine praised and which the Rabbis recommend for the teaching of scriptural verses to a minor.
Before returning to Werner’s teaching regarding cantillation and psalmody, the full quote from Augustine’s Confessions is worth our attention for many reasons (emphasis added):
The delight of the ear drew me and held me more firmly, but you unbound and liberated me. Now I confess that I repose just a little in those sounds to which your words give life, when they are sung by a sweet and skilled voice; not such that I cling to them, but that I can rise out of them when I wish. But it is with the words by which they have life that they gain entry into me, and seek in my heart a place of some honor, even if I scarcely provide them a fitting one. Sometimes I seem to myself to grant them more respect than is fitting, when I sense that our souls are more piously and earnestly moved to the ardor of devotion by these sacred words when they are thus sung than when not thus sung, and that all the affections of our soul, by their own diversity, have their proper measures (modo) in voice and song, which are stimulated by I know not what secret correspondence. But the gratification of my flesh - to which I ought not to surrender my mind to be enervated - frequently leads me astray, as the senses do not accompany reason in such a way as patiently to follow; but having gained admission only because of it, seek even to run ahead and lead it. I sin thus in these things unknowingly, but afterwards I know.
     50 Sometimes, however, in avoiding this deception too vigorously, I err by excessive severity, and sometimes so much so that I wish every melody of the sweet songs to which the Davidic Psalter is usually set, to be banished from my ears and from the church itself.  And safer to me seems what I remember was often told me concerning Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, who required the reader of the psalm to perform it with so little inflection (flexu) of voice that it was closer to speaking (pronuntianti) than to singing (canenti).
     However, when I recall the tears which I shed at the song of the Church in the first days of my recovered faith, and even now as I am moved not by the song but by the things which are sung, when sung with fluent voice and music that is most appropriate (conuenientissima modulatione), I acknowledge again the great benefit of this practice.  Thus I vacillate between the peril of pleasure and the value of the experience, and I am led more - while advocating no irrevocable position - to endorse the custom of singing in church so that by the pleasure of hearing the weaker soul might be elevated to an attitude of devotion.  Yet when it happens to me that the song moves me more than the thing which is sung, I confess that I have sinned blamefully and then prefer not to hear the singer. Look at my condition! Weep with me and weep for me, you who so control your inner feelings that only good comes forth.. And you who do not behave thus, these things move you not.  You however, O Lord my God, give ear, look and see, have pity and heal me, in whose sight I have become an enigma unto myself; and this itself is my weakness. (McKinnon, 154-5)
Note that the kind of Church singing to which Augustine refers involves a solo recitation, or cantillation, of the psalm by the precentor, or cantor.  It was Athanasius’ reader had to be told to chant less melodiously.  Foley reports that:
Specific evidence for chanting the readings from Torah and the prophets in the synagogue is imbedded in the Babylonian Talmud. This sixth-century source “remembers” teachings about chanted biblical texts from as early as the second century C.E.  For example, it reports that Rabbi Akiba (d. ca. 135 C.E.) stressed the necessity of daily chanting the Scriptures when studying them.  It further reports that Rav (d. ca. 250 C.E.) interpreted a section of the book of Nehemiah (8:8) as reference to “punctuation by means of melodic cadences.”  The most celebrated passage of the Talmud about chanting the readings is ascribed to Johanan:  “He who reads the Torah without chant…of him it can be said that it is written, ‘the laws that I gave you were not good’ (Ezek 20:25).” Werner assesses this last saying with the comment, “to recite scripture without chant was considered a minor sacrilege.”
     It is not possible to establish with certainty when this tradition of chanting the Scriptures at synagogue services began.  Given the previously elaborated profile about the acoustic environment of the ancient world in general, and ancient Judaism in particular, it would be difficult to imagine any public reading in the synagogue that was not fundamentally lyrical.  At the beginning of this tradition, it could have simply involved a heightened declamation of the text, or the employment of simple musical cadences which clarified the structure of each biblical sentence. Eventually there seem to have developed distinctive modes or formulae for the chanting of various types of Scripture, like the law and the Prophets.  As the reading of the Torah and the Prophets became more central to the synagogue service - especially after the destruction of the Temple - it became increasingly important to regulate the musical formulae and the use of such formulae when chanting the Scriptures. …
     [[…This Tiberian system of notation - which, according to tradition, was invented by the family of Ben Asher - was imposed upon the whole of Jewry and is still in use. While some scholars maintain that the Tiberian system was purely syntactical rather than musical, others believe that this system of accents reflect a musical system that developed before the emergence of Christianity and can be reconstructed today. Most scholars do not believe, however, that a clear deciphering of the Tiberian system is possible, or that one can demonstrate an indisputable link between it and the most ancient traditions of biblical cantillation.  A series of studies comparing current musical practice with the transcriptions made since 1518 do suggest, however, that the continuity between ancient and modern synagogue musical practice - passed on through oral tradition - is quite strong.]]
     The benedictions that followed the readings from the Law and the Prophets were likely chanted according to the previously discussed “prayer modes” - improvised according to accepted patterns by the sheliach tsibbur, with the assembly adding some phrases of blessing or affirmation at least at the end of the prayer. (Foley, 54-56)
Turning back to Werner’s discussion under the head of Psalmody and Cantillation, we read:
Although these twain practices of the chant of sacred texts frequently sound alike, it is misleading to represent both of them as ‘phenomena of oratorical chant, the stylized imitation of the rise and fall of voice in speech’.  Nowhere does psalmody imitate speech - quite to the contrary:  the exact repetition of the same pattern verse after verse, quite regardless of its logical contents, is typical of psalmody, but contrary to oratorical practice. Cantillation, on the other hand, may be considered a musically elevated imitation of oratorical cadences.
     Much more attention was paid in Judaism to cantillation than to psalmody, due to the central position of the scriptural (i.e., Pentateuchal) lesson and to its ecphonetic accents, systematized by the Masoretes and their successors. Of the many accents which mark punctuation and cantillation of Scripture, only three have the same function in the chant of the Psalter as in the prose books of the OT: the p’ticha initium), ‘atnah (flexa, mediant), and the sof pasuq (punctus).  Thus psalms were, as a rule not cantillated.  Obviously it is much easier to intone a psalmody than to follow all intricate details of the Masoretic accents in cantillation, which requires a considerable amount of grammatical knowledge. Almost everybody can learn to sing psalmodically, but only a few were able to retain in memory - long before there was any printing! - the minutiae of Masoretic accentuation.  This fact explains the victory of the choral practices of psalmody in early Christianity, also the soloistic character of the scriptural lector in Judaism.
     ….Solange Corbin, that outstanding authority on the logogenic forms of chant…writes:  ‘Cantillation on the one hand, applies itself to prose-texts recited by a celebrant, while psalmody is originally of poetic character and can be recited by the entire community. The musical nature of both genres is about the same, but the musical organization (just as the verbal) is more advanced in psalmody…. The musical status of psalmody is more advanced than that of cantillation, which obeys every caprice of a phrase….’
     To these conclusive remarks we add only one observation: the farther eastward we go among the Jews of Asia, the greater becomes the resemblance between psalmody and cantillation in their traditions. This strange fact is due to two reasons: (1) the Asiatic Jews, especially those of Kurdistan and Persia, are inclined to neglect the less important accents of punctuation, so that a more or less central tone often emerges in their cantillation; (2) they use only three or four different musical motifs for their verse-endings and cadences, to that, even in prose texts, the rapidly repeated tone of recitation, together with the few stereotyped phrases and cadences, creates the impression of psalmodic chant.  The only major difference lies in the greatly varying length of the prose verses, whereas the psalm verse tend to a more or less uniform, at least somehow standardized, length. (Werner, S.B.II, 61-63).
Syllabism is another related topic Werner treats.  We  move to his conclusion:
     What now are the inference to be drawn with regard to syllabic rendition and its origin?  It goes without saying that solo psalmody is older than choral psalmody.  We must allow that centuries had to elapse before solo performance could become regulated.  After the inception of choral psalmody and of its teaching, other centuries had to elapse before a method of group singing could attain fixity.  Group singing would naturally tend toward syllabic rendition or toward an identifiable tenor; in solo performance a type of psalmody more melodious than that of dry recitation, is suggested.  Confirmation of this can be found among the Fathers of the Church who either exult in the ‘melodious tunes’ of early psalmody or brusquely oppose all musical appreciation.  Basilius writes:  ‘Only for this one reason have the sweet melodies of the psalms been fashioned: that they who are young and immature, either in years or in spirit, may build and educate their souls while engaged in making music’[Homilia I in Psalmos].  Methodius observes:  ‘I have no desire to listen to sirens who sing one’s epitaph…but I do wish to enjoy heavenly voices…not as one addicted to licentious songs, but as one steeped in the mysteries divine’ [De libero arbitrio].  Augustine reports that Athanasius had instructed his psalmodist to chant with such simplicty ‘ut pronuntianti vicinior esset quam canenti’ (PL, 32:800).  A similar trend, according to the Talmud, prevailed among their Jewish contemporaries. (ibid., 65).
To conclude the excursus on the various modes of psalmody and Scripture cantillation, we return to Foley:
     The previously noted ambiguity concerning the place of psalms in emerging Christian worship makes suggesting anything about their performance a relatively precarious enterprise.  If the psalms continued to function as a book of readings for the early Christian community, then their performance style would be similar to that of other cultic readings. If the psalms found a place in the new home rituals of the followers of Jesus it is probable that their form dictated the style of their performance: some could have been led by an individual with others joining on a refrain after each colon; others could have employed a responsorial form in which the congregation responded to each verse with some brief refrain; the assembly might have punctuated other psalms with cries of “hallaluia”; it is even possible that some texts were rendered strophically.  As to the musical nature of such forms, no one is sure. Idelsohn and his disciples would like to suggest that musical forms yet extant in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries are suggestive of sounds from the dawn of Christianity. It is an interesting, even credible, but nonetheless unprovable hypothesis.
      As we have already noted, readings from various sections of the Hebrew Scriptures were rendered by different musical modes or formulae in the ancient synagogue. Whatever modes were in existence at the rise of Christianity were probably borrowed by the followers of Jesus - especially the Jewish Christians - for the cultic proclamation of the Hebrew Scriptures. When Gentile communities began the cultic proclamation of readings from the Hebrew Scriptures it is probable that they borrowed at least the idea if not the melodic and rhythmic structure of the Hebrew modes for cantillation. This suggestion finds support in the fact that there appear to be no other models outside of Judiaism in the ancient world for such cantillation.  As to the “musical” settings for the other elements that were “read,” one may suggest that (borrowing Werner’s categories) such public proclamations migrated from ecphonesis (or a semi-musical recitative) to cantillation (regular musical chant) as they were more clearly identified as the ‘word of the Lord.” Given that Christianity gave birth to new genres of God’s word - the Gospels and Epistles - so too did these genres eventually develoop distinctive musical formulae that were related to but different from their Jewish predecessors.[23]  Such was especially true as the Gentile community came to prominence in the new religion. (78-9)
We have reported somewhat contradictory positions. Was there the “singing of Psalms” in the Synagogue?  Clearly there was in the Temple.  I posit that the contradition is not that serious: Werner and Wellesz are musicologists, van Olst, Foley, Old and Shepherd are liturgists, Moll a commentator, McKinnon and Edersheim are historians (with different special concentrations!).  The short phrase from Edersheim, “there was no praise service in the synagogue,” is probably true if we consider the “praise serivce” stand alone singing of psalms and hymns.  Clearly there was much chanting of prayers and scripture texts, including the Psalms.  I think Werner’s musical insight gives us sold ground to see Psalmody as a distinctive aspect of the Synagogal liturgy.  At least at some points in the calendar it seems quite probable that there was also some sort of solo psalm and canticle singing with responsorial - at least this is clear in the early church, to which we now turn.
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Solo vs. Corporate, or Solo and Corporate?
A few citations from Dix and McKinnon are appropriate here to indicate the clear fact (see Wellesz & Augustine above) that the reading of Scripture and singing of the Psalter both early involved a solo performance, each with possible congregational responses, or antiphony. This cantor or pre-cantor/precentor is an ancient usage, probably referred to even in the Septuagint Psalm titles and the Hebrew final edition of the canonical Psalter, “to the chief musician,eiv ton telon (LXX).  While this probably referred to the song leader in the Second Temple (Ezra-Nehemiah) it might later have been understood with reference to the cantor in Synagogue, if such existed.
In large gatherings at least, if not always, the lessons were chanted to a simple inflection rather than read. This was partly in order to secure that they should be heard distinctly, and partly to give them solemnity as the Word of God to the church, and through the church to the world.  This custom had also been known in the jewish synagogues, even if it was not necessarily always observed in small country places.
     Between the lessons came the singing of psalms or other canticles from scripture (a chant known in later times as the ‘gradual’ from its being sung by the soloists from the ‘steps’ of the raised lectern), a custom which must have been familiar to our Lord and His apostles, since it was universal in the synagogues in their day.  … Dignity and attractiveness were given to this musical side of the servce by entrusting much of it to special singers who sang elaborate solos. But the corporate nature of the rite was not lost sight of, and a part was usually reserved for the whole congregation to join as a chorus in a simple refrain. ±Until the fourth century the psalmody appears always to have been in this form in the church, elaborate solo and simple chorus, and never, as it is usually with us, by two alternating choruses.  The earlier christian form was that which had been employed in the synagogue, where the signal for the people’s refrain was the cantor’s cry ‘Hallelujah’, whence the ‘Alleluias’ still found in the gradual at the liturgy.  The method of psalmody to which we are accustomed may have been used in the jewish temple, but it did not come into christian use apparently until AD 347-48, when it began to be employed by a confraternity of laymen at Antioch, and from there spread rapidly over christendom.  The use of the psalter ‘in course’ (i.e. right through in regular order, and not as selected psalms to comment on other scriptures) in christian services is one of the by-products of the monastic movement in the fourth century. (Dix, 39-40).
Much of the above is questioned by Werner. At least one point, however, survives the scrutiny of Werner: Chanting with Solo rendition.  The Anglican monk, Dix, wrote During World War II.  Werner, “who is not ashamed to be called an ‘old-fashioned humanist’” (S.B.II, xii), commenting on part of the above Dix quote (starting at ±) in 1984, exclaims:
Rarely in a modern work of serious scholarship does one meet such a maze of bold statements, inaccuracies, outright erros, and half-truths as in this passage by so careful a scholar as G. Dix.  There is no evidence whatever for the main argument, namely, that ‘the cantor’s cry “Hallelujah” was the signal for the congregation’s reply’ in the Synagogue.  His other thesis is equally untenable: the origin of chanting the Psalter in cursu is not only the result of growing monasticism as we know today, but goes back to the Jewish tradition and to the Christian use of the psalms, or sections of the Psalter, on martyrs’ days and vigils.  Of the Alleluia in the Synagogue service before the lesson there is not only no trace, but it will be shown that this practice violates a basic rule of Jewish liturgy. (101)   
Sadly, space does not permit us to follow Werner’s discussion of the evolution of the “free Hallejuah” in the church.  We note, however, part of his conclusion:
In the Synagogue the so-called Hallelujah psalms (145-50) each of which begins or ends with the acclamation, became a regular part of the daily morning service, and were chanted simply by one honorary precentor having once been triumphantly sung by the Levitical chorus and orchestra of the Temple. On festivals the Hallel was added.  It is not too far-fetched a conjecture to assume that these psalms and the Alleluia-verses, formerly rendered in the Temple as a daily part of the service, were now kept alive in the New Church.  The psalm lesson was continued in both Synagogue and Church, but was eventually abolished by the former; while the Alleluia, which according to Jewish custom should not be torn from its psalms, came to serve Christianity almost exclusively.  Still, it remained controversial, as we have seen, until this ‘free’ Alleluia was sanctioned by pope Damasus in the West, and by the great Greek doctors of the outgoing third century in the East.  Characteristically, it first took the place of the Hallel at Easter. To this very day Ps. 118 is distributed as Gradual over the days of the Easter week, and more than fifteen (textual) contrafacts of the melody to haec dies (Ps. 118:24) are listed as known.  Curiously enough, it is also linked with the so-called  Egyptian Hallel (Ps. 135) of the Jewish Passover tradition. (106).
 There is debate on the nature of the songs sung in the pre-Nicene church.  Dix:
At the pre-Nicene synaxis a passive part was all that was possible for the congregation; the reader, the singer of the gradual, the preacher, necessarily acted while the rest listened. It was only when the intercessions were reached that even the pre-Nicene synaxis became an effectively corporate act. (442).
To end the treatment of “Solo vs. congregational singing,” it appears to be as much a false dichotomy as solo vs. congregational prayer.  Corporate prayer (and song is a form a prayer - see Calvin below) can have various manifestations, but will more often than not (in non-liturgical churches at least) be one voice leading on behalf of the whole church. So with early psalmody. 
The Content of Song in the Ancient Church (& Jewish World)
            We now turn to the content of worship song in the ancient communities of Biblical faith.  vanOlst summarizes:
However, the Psalms are not the only liturgical songs in the Bible. It also contains songs other than psalms called canticles.  Well-known canticles include the song of Moses (Ex. 15), the song of Deborah (Judg. 5), the song of Hannah (1 Sam. 2), and , in the New Testament, the songs of Zechariah, Mary, and Simeon.  In the synagogue all readings from the Torah and the prophets were (and are) sung (recited) by the cantor, as well as the so-called festive scrolls, that is, Song of Solomon, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, and Esther.  It is not clear in all cases how far the roots of this practice reach back into biblical times.  In addition to the sung portions of Scripture (called cantillations), there are prayer chants that go back to temple days.
But van Olst then adds that:
        In the ancient church one may observe an increasing use of the canticles.  Origen mentions them and Athanasius recommends that in the morning prayer the so-called Benedicite Dominum (also known as the Canticle of the Three Youths in the Fiery Furnace, Dan. 3:52-90, JB) be sung.  This has been called one of the greatest hymns of synagogue and church.  According to Rufinus (ca. 400), this canticle was sung throughout the church.
        Another canticle we have already mentioned, the song of Moses and Miriam (Ex. 15), was sung in the ancient church at Baptism during the Easter Vigil.  The song of Moses (Deut. 32), the song of the strong city (Isa. 26), the prayer of Jonah (Jon 2), and Hezekiah’s song of thanksgiving (Isa. 38) also deserve mention here.  Initially the use of the canticles seems to have been more extensive in the East, but after some time they proved to be in vogue also in the West. 
        In addition to Exodus 15 and Deuteronomy 32, the ancient liturgies included the prayer of Habakkuk (Hab. 3) on Good Friday and the song of the vineyard (Isa. 5) in the Easter Vigil.  We may conclude that the Old Testament canticles also functioned this way in the early church and later.
        Canticles occur not only in the Old Testament but also in the New.  In addition to those already mentioned, several others come to mind.  “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light” (Eph. 5:14) gets a place in the Easter Vigil.  From the book of Revelation we learn that in matters of liturgy the early Christians very closely followed the Torah and the prophets. For example, in the song of the four living creatures (Rev. 4:8b) we find “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty,” a reference to Isaiah 6:3, where the trisagion ends with “the whole earth is full of his glory.”  The Isaiah passage has been incorporated into all the classic eucharistic liturgies as the so-called Sanctus[24]. (Van Olst, 2-4).
Moll resumes:
As in general the Divine service of the temple and the synagogue were the models of the earliest ordinance and usages of the Christian Church (comp. Vitringa De synagoga vetere) so with respect to the singing of Psalms this is especially clear.  The transition was all the more natural, since the example of Christ and His apostles, Matt. xxvi.30; Acts xvi.25; Rom. xv.16; 1Cor.xiv.15sq.266; Eph. V.19; Col.iii.16; James v.13; to which Augustine appeals expressly to prove the necessity of psalm singing, must have already prepared the way for it.
In the responsive chants of the Christians to which Pliny alludes[25], and the songs of praise and spiritual hymns to which the older church writers frequently refer, in connection with Psalms (as Paul had done, Eph.v. 19; Col. Iii.16), we are, at all events, to recognize an allusion to newly composed songs, simply resembling the psalms-the models and beginnings of the later church songs…. Apart from the question whether such hymns are alluded to in Eph…1 Tim.iii.116…[etc.], there are frequent allusions to original hymns, called idiwtikoi yalmoi, which are by some declared equivalent to apocryphal Psalms.  They designate, at any rate, songs which had come to be used in public worship, but were not entirely free from suspicion, since the council of Laodicea, Can.59, in the year 365, prohibited their further use in the church, and later councils also at least limited and regulated their use.  This was particularly the case at the fourth council of Toledo, AD 633, Can. 13, in opposition to the rigorism of the Conc. Bracarens.i., A.D.563, Can. 12, which had ordained “Ut extra psalmos vel canonicarus scripturarum, N. and V.T., nihil poetice compositum in ecclesia psallatur.” [26]… Zacharias’ song of praise, Luke i.68 f., on the contrary, continued to be used in public worship, as likewise that of Mary, Luke i.46 sq., that of the heavenly host, Luke ii.14; the angelic greeting Luke i.28; and Simeon’s words of leave-taking, Luke ii.29; likewise the Trishagion, Is. vi.3; the song of Moses, Deut xxxii; his song of praise, Ex. xv.; Hannah’s song of praise, 1 Sam.ii.; the song of thanksgiving, Is. xii.; Hezekiah’s song of praise, Is.xxxvii.; Habakkuk’s prayer, Hab.iii., and the song of the three men, Dan.iii.  … It is, however, quite as certain, that individual Palms were not only so extensively in private use, that psalm-singing could be heard everywhere from the laborers in the field and garden (Jerome, Marcell.), in the house (Tertul. Ad uxor.ii.9); at meal times (Cyprian, ep. Ad. Donat.; Clemens Alex., Paed. ii.4; Chrysost.  In Ps. xli.); at morning and evening prayer (Ambrose, Haexaem., v.12; de jejun., 15; Clemens Alex., Paedag.ii.41; Chrysost., Hom. 1 de precant.), and from the lips of martyrs (Augustin, de civ. Dei 18, 52; Rufin., Hist. Eccl. 1,35; Theodoret, Hist. Eccl. 4, 10); but their use in public worship was regulated from an early period, and they were employed to a wide extent….
Note what our advocate of “the hermeneutics of suspicion” cautions in regard to the decrees of “ecclesiastical councils and synods”—
Just because an authoritative body makes a liturgical regulation does not mean that it was observed everywhere or ever put into practice anywhere at all.  Conservatism in matters liturgical is notoriously intractable and, as we all know well, canonical legislation from even the highest level is frequently unable to dislodge a well-established and much-loved local custom. … regulations provide excellent evidence for what was actually happening in local congregations, not by what is decreed should be done but by what is either directly prohibited or indirectly implied should cease to be done.  That such regulations were made at all shows that the very opposite of what they were trying to promote must have been a widespread custom at that period.  Synodical assemblies do not usually waste their time either condemning something that is not actually going on or insisting on the firm adherence to some rule that everyone is already observing….  The same is true of the liturgical comments that are found in many of the writings and homilies of early Christian theologians and bishops.  We generally cannot know whether the practices and customs that they advocated were ever adopted by their congregations, or just politely listened to and then ignored, as the pleas of preachers often are; but we can conclude that there must have been some real foundation to the contrary custom or practice which is either directly criticized or implicitly  acknowledged in the advice being given.  Such writers may sometimes be suspected of hyperbole in the things they say, but they do not usually tilt at non-existent windmills. So, for example, when John Chrysostom describes those who fail to stay for the reception of communion at the celebration of the Eucharist as resembling Judas Iscariot at the Last Supper [De Baptismo Christi 4], we do not know if he had any success in reforming the behaviour of his congregation, but we can safely assume that what he is complaining about was an observable feature at that time (Bradshaw, 18-9).
And, as for the actual use of the Psalter in the earliest Christian times, another modern scholar records significant question about any regular use of the Psalter for singing prior to 200:
Prior to the third century of the common era there is little explicit evidence that the Davidic psalms were anything like a “song book” for the early Christian community.  This has led some, like Balthasar Fischer, to suggest that the Old Testament psalms were never a part of Christian cult during the first two centuries.  Fischer argues that the early Church only turned to the Psalter as a song-book in response to questionable hymn texts that were “radically compromised by Gnostic abuses.”  He concludes that the trend toward accepting the Psalter in Christian worship occurred only around 200 C.E.
It is true that, along with the previously noted apocryphal Acts of Paul, the earliest clear evidence for psalms in Christian worship clusters around the year 200.  Evidence before this time is fragmentary and ambiguous.  As previously noted, it is possible that the psalms served as a book of readings for the early Christian community; that psalm fragments might have found their way into preaching or proclamation; that new psalm-like compositions emerged; and that traditional biblical psalms were reinterpreted in light of the Jesus experience. It is not possible, however, to ascertain any sent pattern for employing the psalms within Christian worship of the first century.  What is new in the third century, therefore, is not so much that psalms are employed for the first time in Christian worship, but that patterns for their usage develop and clarify.  Tertullian, for example, indicates that psalm-singing is an ordinary element in the “liturgy of the word” for Sunday assembly.
As to why psalmody became a constitutive element of Christian worship after the third century, one can only surmise.  Fischer’s suggestion that the biblical psalms were an appropriate and effective “antidote” to more contemporary compositions of questionable content certainly could have been one reason.  Another is what Werner characterizes as a trend from spontaneous to more organized patterns of prayer….This general move toward standardization in creedal and prayer formulae could have been the impetus for the further standardization of Christian worship.  The adoption of the Davidic psalms was one more step in this process. (Foley, 94-97).
Moll resumes:
Even in the Peschito there are found liturgically marked passages, six of which correspond to the masoretic Sedarim, that is, arrangements, series, of which there are nineteen in all.  According to these, the whole Psalter, “the heart of God” was sung through during the vigils preceding the festivals of the Syrian Church, which began almost all its public services with Ps. 41 (Fr. Dietrich…).  To break the monotony of the singing, a decree of the Conc. Laodic. AD 365, Can. 17, ordained that prayers and the reading of the Scriptures should be introduced between the Psalms.  Later, among the Nestorians, songs were also introduced. … The first prayer which preceded the Psalms with which the service began, was called the “foundation prayer.”… In the recitation of the entire Psalter, such a prayer preceded each of the customary divisions.  From this fact the division itself received the appellation marmitho = “founding.”  Each marmitho was again separated into four sub-divisions or subhe (sing. Subho), thus making, in all, sixty sub-divisions.  Among some of the Syrian clergy, the custom had formerly prevailed of praying through the entire Psalter daily; as also among certain Egyptian monks.  The time afterwards established for this devotional exercise was the week.
In the Greek Church likewise, the entire Psalter was prayed through every week, and was  divided for this purpose into twenty kaqismata, that is, sections, after which the congregation was seated.  Each of these again fell into three staseV, that is subdivisions, during the recitation of which the congregation was standing.  In this case, likewise, sixty divisions arose, each one of which ended with the doxology after Rev. i.6.  This is manifestly modeled after the Syrian custom alluded to.  At the beginning of the third century, twelve Psalms were usually sung at each public service.  According to Athanasius (De virginit.), this began with the singing of the 63d Psalm, after each one present had offered a silent prayer of confession, whereupon the recital of Psalms proceeded, beginning at the point where it had ended at the previous service.  Then followed biblical readings, originally without definite order, alternating from the Old and New Testaments. It was only afterwards that readings were first from the Epistles, and then afterwards from the Evangelists.  Between these readings, a Psalm was sung (Constit. Apost.ii.57), usually a hallelujah psalm, and most frequently the 150th ….
In the Aethiopic Church the employment of the Psalms prevailed so extensively, that eminent women not only learned to repeat the whole by heart, but the instruction of youth was begun in it, and the in Amharic the primary scholars are called pueri psalmorum ….
In the Latin Church, Jerome, in his charge to the priest Damasus, divided the psalms into seven parts, one for each day in the week, to be used in the horis canonicis, which were also symbolically divided by the number seven, or perhaps eight, with reference to the division of the days into three times eight hours.  In the breviary arranged for the daily use of the clergy of the Roman Catholic Church, the leading feature was the distribution of the Psalms throughout the week, connected however with hymns, and the reading of Scripture and prayers.  The restriction to the priests and friars is connected, on the one side, with the fact, that in the earlier vigils, which were participated in with animation by persons of all stations, the women were excluded by the Council of Elvira, AD 305, to avoid offense and abuse …. But by the Council of Laodicea, Can. 16, the obligatory and active participation was limited strictly to the singers belonging to the clergy, Cp. Aug. Neander’s Church History, ii.679.
….Gregory [the Great]…abbreviated and arranged the Graduale, that is, the verses of the Psalms which were sung upon the steps of the reading desk, after the reading of the epistle, followed usually with the hallelujah; likewise the offertorium and the communio, that is, the Psalms which were sung during the presentation of the offerings by the church between the credo and the prayer of thanksgiving, as also during the communion. He retained, however, for the secondary services the use of the unabbreviated Psalter, regulating however more precisely it use.  The customary morning song was here also Ps.lxiii., the evening song, ps.cxli., or the nunc dimittis, Luke ii.29.  The division of the Psalms for the week days, according to the regulations of the Benedictines, associated with explanations of certain passages, is given by Cartier in the Psalmodae ecclesiasticae delucidatio, 1734. 
Gregory labored no less sedulously with reference, to the manner of rendering the Psalms.  The singing constantly alluded to, was at first, simply the transfer to the Church of the chanting of the synagogue, with its responses…which was neither an invention of the Therapeutae (Philo), nor the institution of the Emperor Constantine, and the monks Diodor. And Flavian of Antioch (Theodoret, H.E.ii.24; Suidas, s.v. xoroj).  These can only have been the cultivators of this style.  Ignatius even, had introduced the responsive style of singing into Antioch (Socrates, prompted by a vision [27]) and Basil the Great (379) refers (Ep.96 ad Christian.) to the agreement of all the Churches in this custom.  But partly in connection with the effort to counteract the errors in doctrine, which had been introduced among the people by means of attractive melodies and pleasant songs, especially by the Arians (Sozomen. H.E. viii.8); there was a song proper, already prevalent in the Orient, and although the yaltai, the appointed Church choristers, had from the middle of the fourth century Conc. Laod. Can. 15[28], chiefly to do with the leading of the customary Psalm-singing; there was nevertheless rapidly developed a more artistic song, in part affected and theatrical, in part passing over into a sweet and tender style, which called forth the censures of Jerome (Ad Eph.v.19)[29] and Chrysost. (Opp. vi.97).  References and warnings, occasioned by such phenomena are found in Augustine (Confess.x.33) associated with the lively recognition of the great influence and rich blessings, which he had personally experienced …in Milan, from the melodious Church songs, introduced there by Ambrose, and from thence scattered throughout the entire Occident.  He did not learn to sing Psalms, properly so called, until later (Proem. In Ps.xxi.), probably in Africa.  In contrast with this artificial alternating style of Church music, abounding in rhythm and metre; but secundum morem orientalium partium…which afterwards fell into disuse, and became greatly deteriorated, Gregory returned to a uniform and somewhat monotonous, though severe and ernest Psalmody.  He selected, from the earnest and dignified tones of the ancient Greeks, four, from which he derived by changing the position of the fundamental tone, four other tones.  These are the so-called eight Church tones.  From each of these Gregory arranged one of the melodies of the Psalms of the Old Testament, still in existence, and in use, to which he added for the remaining songs, of the Old Testament and the Psalms of the New Testament a ninth, the so-called ‘foreign tone” (Cf. Bona, De div. Psalm. ixviii.4; Gerbert, De cant.lib. ii.P.I. p. 250; Antony….).  “The melody rests essentially upon one tone, the first as the second half of the verse concludes with a cadence of from two to five tones, under which an equal number of closing syllables were put, while all the preceding syllables were upon the chief tone of the melody, only the first verse, begins with three or four ascending tones.  The length of particular notes, was determined by the value of individual syllables. (O. Strauss, Ueber den Psalter als Gesang=und Gebetbuch, 1859, S. 19)….  The tonus peregrinus was originally intended only for Ps. cxiii (Hebrew numbering cxiv. and cxv.) and was transferred on the part of the Protestants to the Benedictus,  and the Magnificat.  By numerous deviations in the cadences which gradually became familiar, the nine chief tones were extended, to more than fifty melodies; but the power of the parallelism of numbers passed out of view since the ninth century, because from that period, as at present in the Anglican as well as in the Roman Church, the changes were made in accordance with entire verses… (Moll, 36-39)
Returning to the much-mentioned use of the other Scripture songs, Moll’s contemporary Jewish-Christian scholar, Edersheim, wrote:
There is yet a third reference in the Book of Revelation to the ‘harps of God,’ [Rev. xv.2] with most pointed allusion, not to the ordinary, but to the Sabbath services in the Temple.  In this case, ‘the harpers’ are all they ‘that had gotten the victory over the beast.’  The Church, which has come out of great tribulation, stands victorious ‘on the sea of glass;’ and the saints, ‘having the harps of God,’ sing ‘the song of Moses, the servant of God.’ It is the Sabbath of the Church; and as on the Sabbath, besides the psalm of the day [Ps. xcii] at the ordinary sacrifice, they sung at the additional Sabbatic sacrifice [Numb. xxviii. 9,10], in the morning, the Song of Moses in Deut. xxxii., and in the evening that of Ex. xv., so the victorious Church celebrates her true Sabbath of rest by singing this same ‘Song of Moses and of the Lamb,’ only in language that expresses the fullest meaning of the Sabbath songs in the Temple. (Edersheim, Temple, 75-76).
That the pattern of use of Exodus and Deuteronomic songs continued in the early Church is well attested.  In the Roman rite of the Fourth Century,
…Morning prayer and vespers were meant for the whole congregation, clergy as well as laity…. The morning prayers consisted of Psalms 148-150 and probably Psalms 63 and 51, plus the canticles of Exodus 15, Deuteronomy 32, and Daniel 3. (van Olst, 77).
Eugene H. Peterson tells us that,
In St. John’s arrangement of his theological poem [Rev. 15:1-8], this judgment scene is the fifth of his six section.  It corresponds to the transition from the fifth book of Moses to the sixth which is designated with the name Jesus (Joshua) and tells of the occupation of the promised land….
        The two names, Moses and Jesus, are linked at the conclusion of the fiercely-phrased poem, Deuteronomy 32, where it is said that this song was taught to Israel by Moses and Jesus (Dt. 32:34).  St. John develops the emphasis by designating the congregational hymn that is sun while the action of judgment is being prepared as the “song of Moses…and the song of the Lamb,” that is, Jesus (Rev. 15:3).
        The hymn text (Rev. 15:3-4) is a much-abridged version of Deuteronomy 32  (Peterson, 139).
So, we have excellent liturgical, historical, Biblical and theological reasons for singing the song of Moses and the Lamb, both in its first edition (Dt. 32) and in its Apocalyptic recension (Rev. 15).
There is interesting additional NT support evidencing the use of the OT Canticles continuing into the New Testament era, and being incorporated in the New Testament text from its liturgical (Ode) setting, rather than its canonical (Deut.) setting.  In the introduction to his magisterial commentary on the book of Hebrews, William L.  Lane explains “The writer’s appropriation of the Old Testament,” and indicates,
an example of haraz [to string pearls] occurs in Hebrews 1:5-13, where the writer joins together with minimal comment three pairs of passages and a concluding quotation. In this case, the quotations are taken primarily form the Psalms and Odes that were sung in the liturgy of the synagogue. The first pair of quotations concerns sonship: Ps. 2:7 and 2 Sam. 7:14 are joined together on the basis of the term uioV, “son.” The second pair documents the subservient role of the angels in reference to the Son:  Deut. 32:43 (in the form of the biblical Odes appended to the Greek Psalter [Ode 2:43]) and Psalm 104:4 are joined on the basis of the plural terms “angels.”… (Lane, cxxii). 
By comparing the two possible referents from Rahlfs Septuaginta, it is very clear that the writer to the Hebrews employed the LXX Version of the Ode 2:43, not the LXX of Deut. 32:43.  This is significant testimony to the continuing use of the Odes of the “Greek Church,” in the form sung in the Synagogue, being incorporated into the Inspired volume of Scripture as authoritative (and also sung to the point of memorization by heart by the author of the Hebrews).[30] Hebrews always used the Greek LXX rather than translating from the Hebrew OT.
IV. Uninspired Compositions in the Intertestamental period and in the Early Church
What was the genesis of new Christian songs in worship? The most early and extensively attested sung portions of the liturgy were the Alleluia, the Angus Dei, the Amen, various chanted prayers, the Gloria in excelsis, and various responses such as Kyrie Eleison, doxologies and the Sanctus.   These evidence ‘evolutionary’ development.  Regarding the Angus Dei, Dix reports a “little prose hymn, ‘O lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us,’” as introduced by Pope Sergius I (687-701) during the fraction before communion (p. 523), though some form of it is probably earlier. It is easy to see how these chants and sung prayers arose directly from Scripture, even as they went beyond the words of Scripture.  Ward has already mentioned the expansion upon the song of the Shepherds in Luke.  The evolution of such practices have deep, deep roots.  Werner gives a careful and critical study of “The Genesis of the Sanctus in Jewish and Christian Lituriges” in his second volume of The Sacred Bridge, but I have moved my summary of this to the appendix due to its length. The length of one point of Werner’s work is instructive - other liturgical questions receive similar exposition from liturgists. Werner says, “We know that it [the Jewish form of the Sanctus] was chanted responsorially in a kind of simple recitative:  this was necessary because the Thrice-Holy was always sung by the congregation” (121). This fact is amply testified to in Talmudic literature” (122).  While we might prefer to ground the Sanctus and the Thrice-Holy directy in John’s Revelation, it is evident that John was reporting a worship service in heaven, perhaps the archetype service for the NT Church.   The often repeated argument of EP advocates that worship in heaven by saints and angels is no model for us (therefore we are not to sing the songs given in Revelation) runs contrary to the genius of worship in the earliest liturgies we have, not only NT, but synagogal and in the OT text, i.e., Isaiah 6.
Uninspired Songs, Hymns  and Psalms from the Intertestamental Period
In a preliminary volume in a series addressing the New Perspective on Paul (NPP), Justificaiton and Variegated Nomism: Volume I, Daniel Falk, treats “Psalms and Prayers,” one of the Complexities of Second Temple Judaism.  He mentions Psalm 154[31], Psalm 155, Plea for Deliverance and the Prayer of Manasseh (contained in the OT Apocrypha).  In agreement with what we’ve learned from Werner, Falk indicates the dependence of the “statutory synagogue prayer known as the Amidah (Eighteen Benedictions) on the Hodayot from Qumran (second century B.C.). He also discusses the Psalms of Solomon (c.70-30 B.C.) as well as the early Jewish-Christian Odes of Solomon (c. 67-100 A.D.) (Carson & Siefrid, 8). The Prayer of Manasseh “is a penetential prayer of an individual.  It was composed as a narrative production by a Jew probably  between the second century B.C. and first century A.D… at least by the thrid century it was used liturgically by Christians” (ibid. 13).  Meztger tells us that “The prayer of Manasseh takes its place with devotional literature of a relatively high order.  The psalmody of the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Young Men is of a decidedly liturgical cast” (Metzger, Apocrapha, xi). These latter are inserted in the LXX version of Daniel betweeen 3:23 and 3:24.  These were sung in the early church, with commendation of Athanasius and Origin (van Olst, 2-4). The Amidah are important as the first Jewish Prayer Books (outside scripture), of which we have both Babylonian and Palestinian versions.  “Book Seven of the Apostolic Constitutions contains an extended Christian adaptation of the Jewish Seven Benedictions of the Amidah for Sabbaths that probably originated in Jewish Greek synagogues in Syria sometime between 150-300 A.D.” (Falk, in Carson, 24).  Lucien Deiss devotes the first chapter of his Springtime of the Liturgy to the various recensions of the Jewish 18 blessings, along with other ancient “Sources of Jewish Prayer” which had direct influence on Christian liturgies (Deiss, 3-19).  These prayers, in the synagagogue, were chanted; the early church probably followed suit.
Psalms 151-155?  Other Songs in the Apocrypha
The canonical Psalter did not receive its final redaction until the time of Ezra, at the earliest (by most accounts).  Psalmody continued during the Exile and Return, and into the Maccabean period, as reported in the Apocrypha, which contains a number of songs and hymns.  We’ve mentioned the Psalms of Solomon, most of which come late in this period.  There is some kind of interdependency between Pss. Sol. 11 and Baruch 4:36-5:9.[32]  Additionally, in the Apocrypha, Judith 16 records the “hymn of Praise” which “all Israel” sang in response to their deliverance from the Assyrians, due to Judith’s crafty (Jael-like) execution of Holofernes, commander-in-Chief of the Army of Nebuchadnezzar:  “…a song to my God… chant to the Lord with cymbals, sing to him a new song…” (16:1), and “a new hymn I will sing to my God” (16:13).  This song led to the people going to Jerusalem to worship (16:18ff.).
The book of Tobit has a beautiful “hymn of Praise” 13:1-18) which is very orthodox and echoes Isaiah 60 and anticipates Rev. 21 (esp.Tobit 15:17-18). Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), the most important apocryphal work of wisdom literature (much beloved of St. Augustine) has a passage in praise of wisdom (Ch. 24) which is quite hymnic, though not as much so as 36:1-17, or 39:12-35, or 42:15-43:35:  “Lift up your voices to glorify the Lord. Though he is still beyond your power to praise; extol him with renewed strength, and weary not, though you cannot reach the end:  for who can see him and describe him?  Or who can praise him as he is?” (43:31-33). 
Holladay reports  the following:
In one of the great manuscripts of the Greek Septuagint (Sinaiticus), there are 151 psalms:  at the end of the book of Psalms, the subscription reads, “The 151 Psalms of David.”  In other great Septuagint manuscripts (for example, Alexandrinus), Psalm 151 is an appendix, and its superscription reads, “this psalm is ascribed to David as his own composition (though it is outside the number [some manuscripts add “of the one hundred fifty”]), after he had fought in single combat with Goliath.”  Psalm 151 is likewise found at the end of the Psalter in the Old Latin version and in the Sahidic Coptic version.  And a slightly different version of this psalm, in Hebrew, has been discovered among the Dead Sea Scrolls (see Ch. 7).  Furthermore, there is a manuscript in the Syriac language from the twelfth century C.E., found in Mosul in northern Iraq, that offers five apocryphal psalms, Psalms 151-155; Psalm 151 is the same as that found in the Septuagint and among the Dead Sea Scrolls.  In spite of the strong conviction, then, that the Psalms numbered 150, there was a contrary tendency to add “just one more” or “just a few more”! (Holladay 88-89).
The more historical book of I Maccabees contains several poetic sections in style of classical Hebrew poetry:  four laments (1:24-28, 30-40; 2:8-13; 3:45); three hymns of praise of our Father (2:51-64; 3:3-9; 14:4-15).  II Maccabees 7:6 contains a clear reference to Deuteronomy 32:36 where the mother of seven martyr brothers encourages her boys, “The Lord God is looking on as he truly has compassion on us, as Moses declared in his canticle, when he protested openly with the words, ‘And he will have pity on his servants.’”  This would confirm the continuing liturgical use of the Song of Moses in the Temple late into the intertestamental period, as it is unlikely a Jewish mother would have had her own Scroll of Deuteronomy to read. 
Of greater prominence would be the canticles and Hymns from the OT which are included in the LXX, including the ‘deuterocanonnical’ addition to Daniel, “the Song of the Three Children,” as well as the other hymns and canticles from the canonical scriptures, often mentioned above. Shepherd points out that the Song of the Three Young Men is “an expanded version of Psalm 148” (Shepherd, Psalms, 30).  Shepherd also reports:
Of special interest is the incomplete scroll of the psalms discovered in 1956 in Cave 11 at Qumran, where the sectarian Essene community settled ca. 165-150 B.C.  The manuscript, however, dates from approximately A.D. 30-50, and includes all or parts of 39 canonical Psalms in an unusual order, interspersed with “the last words of David” (2 Samuel 23:1-7) and eight apocryphal Psalms that include Sirach 51:13 ff. and the additional Psalm 151 of the Greek version.  Some of these texts have interesting variants, and Psalm 145 has after each verse a refrain:
“Blessed be the Lord, and Blessed be his Name for ever and ever.” (Shepherd, ibid, 29).
Musical Elements in the Dead Sea Scrolls
Reporting on the “Musical Elements of the Dead Sea Scrolls” Werner tells us about The War of the Children of Light against the Children of Darkness and the Manual of Discipline.  These contain prayers and hymns (31ff.).  The Apostle Paul seems to echo some of the language of these scrolls in 1 Corinthians “I will sing with understanding” (Werner, S.B.II, 31-33). There are also the Hymns of Thanksgiving from the Hodayot.  “I shall play upon the lyre of salvation and upon the harp of joy… upon the flute of praise without end…” (32-33).  The evidence regarding these hymns is elaborate, and could involve us in just as long a series of quotations as given regarding the Sanctus (S,K,T) in the appendix. 
There has been occasion to mention the collection of poems called Hymns of Thanksgiving after their incipit (and presumable refrain):  ‘I thank Thee, O Lord’, or ‘I bless Thee, O Lord’.  In addition, some poetic sections are contained in other scrolls, as in the Manual of Discipline, The War of the Children of Light, and others…. It might be well to point out that the poems do not constitute hymns in the accepted sense but are free compositions, like the biblical canticles.
…Since we do not know anything about the way in which these texts were chanted, we cannot, of course, determine whether they were of stationary or processional character.  We do know, however, that these hymns were regularly chanted and that they constituted a kind of breviary.  Says the poet in the Manual of Discipline:
…And as I lie on my couch, I will sing aloud to Him; /I will bless Him with an offering of the utterance of my lips/ More than the oblation spread out by men:  / Before I raise my hand to satisfy myself/ With the delights of what the world produces…/ In the dominion of fear and terror, The place of distress with desolation, / I will bless Him, giving special thanks…/ When distress is let loose I will praise Him / And when I am delivered I will sing praise also…/ With thanksgivings I will open my mouth…/ Blessed art Thou, O my God/ Who openest to knowledge the heart of thy servant…
    The last line is an almost literal quotation from an ancient prayer.  Furthermore, the often repeated ‘I will bless Him’ is to be as a kind of refrain, which opens every new stanza.
        To the musicologist, the Hymns of Thanksgiving are even more interesting.  For he should regard them as the missing links in the gradual evolution from plain psalmodic-responsorial style to the full rounded form of the antiphon (40-1)
        ….Almost every one of these Hymns of Thanksgiving is couched in this mixture of refrains, free poetry and scriptural quotation.  This juxtaposition of quotation and original poetry presages the split in early Christian hymnody:  the conservative policy of the Roman Church, which for the first five or six centuries championed a strict imitation of biblical chant and form against the free, didactic-homiletic hymns of the Eastern Churches, culminating in the edicts of the Council of Laodicea…. Such hymns and psalms were the patterns upon which the monastic offices of later centuries elaborated in their extensive services (42).
Psalms of Solomon
These hymns and psalms and odes of the Apocryapha and other intertestamental literature indicate a tradition among the Jews of the use of non-canonical songs in worship.  The Psalms of Solomon are a case in point.  What do we know about these Psalms?
The collection of eighteen Greek poems that comprise the Psalms of Solomon recount one unknown Jewish community's response to a series of military attacks and political persecutions during the first century B.C.E. The authors of the Psalms use poetry to explain why God has allowed their devout community to suffer. No one, they believe, is completely innocent, thus they conclude that even the righteous have inadvertently sinned. God is, therefore, justified in punishing the entire nation because all have violated the Law. According to the writers, their community differs from other Jewish sinners in that God does not discipline them alike. They believe that God tests the righteous through punishment in order to see how they respond to such discipline. The pious are those who accept the Lord's rebuke, declare God to be just, and try to stop sinning. Such righteous suffering, moreover, atones for sin. The community of the Psalms concludes that although justice has been delayed, God will intervene in history and send a Davidic messiah to purge Jerusalem of all its Jewish and Gentile sinners before inaugurating an eternal reign of peace. Until this occurs, the writers urge the pious to cry to the Lord (Ps. Sol. 1:1), because he will show mercy to those who persistently call upon him (Ps. Sol. 2:36).[33]
Looking at Rahlfs’ LXX, we find these 18 Psalms on pages 471-489[34].  The Greek titles are instructive:  YalmoV tw Salwmon - 2, 3, 5, 13, 15, 18; en UmnoiV - 10; Dialogh tou Salwmwn-4; UmnoV tw Salwmwn - 14, 16; YalmoV tw Salwmwn meta wdhV -15, 17 (tw Basilei).  These titles fulfill the qualifications of the 1980 R.P. Testimony, where it gives an application of Paul’s “Psalms, Hymns and Spiritual Songs” phrase (Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16):
…The Greek words in the New Testament which are translated "psalm," "hymn" and "song" all appear in the Septuagint (Greek) version of the Book of Psalms.Ps. 95:2; Ps. 40:3, (4); Ps. 96:1; Col. 3:16; Eph. 5:19; Mark 14:26; 1 Cor. 14:26; Jas. 5:13. (Reformed Presbyterian Testimony 21:5).
The First English Study on the Psalms of Solomon in over a century, by Atkinson, is the only work to benefit from complete access to the full corpus of the Dead Sea Scrolls. In his article, “Toward a Redating of the Psalms of Solomon: Implications for Understanding the Sitz im Leben of an Unknown Jewish Sect,” Kenneth Atkinson tells us:
The eighteen Psalms of Solomon, is a pseudepigraphic work written in the mid-to later first century B.C.E. A superficial survey of the composition shows it to consist of eighteen psalms written in imitation of the biblical psalter, and ascribed to King Solomon. The genre of these psalms ranges from lamentations, entreaties, and thanksgiving. The collection portrays a terrible calamity inflicted by an anonymous enemy upon Jerusalem.... The earliest of these psalms date just prior to Pompey's arrival in 63 B.C.E., and the latest document Herod the Great's siege of Jerusalem in 37 B.C.E.. believed to have been composed in Hebrew…. Robert Hann has conducted a syntactical analysis of the Greek text, and has demonstrated that the text is "translation Greek," characterized by translation errors from Hebrew and "semiticisms." The absence of any reference within the Greek text, or its appended headings, to the destruction of Jerusalem, suggests that the Psalms of Solomon was, translated, and redacted into Greek prior to 70 CE. … The earliest clear historical testimony to the work is the listing of "Eighteen Psalms of Solomon" in the catalog at the beginning of the fifth century C.E. Codex Alexandrinus. Unfortunately, the pages that once contained the Psalms of Solomon are missing from this codex. At an unknown time, some of the Psalms of Solomon were included in the unrelated Odes of Solomon. This suggests that the collection was incorporated into the worship of Syriac speaking Christianity. …There is a consensus that the Psalms of Solomon emanated from Jerusalem. …
     Psalm of Solomon 17 begins, in verses 1 4, with a praise to God and the statement that the Lord had chosen David and his descendants to rule forever. In verses 5-6, the author documented the actions of sinners who had illegitimately usurped the Davidic throne, and replaced it with a non-Davidic monarchy. This passage reads as follows:
(5) You, Lord, did choose David as king over Israel,
And you did swear to him concerning his descendants forever,
That his kingdom should not fail before you.
But, because of our sins, sinners rose up against us,
They set upon us and drove us out, those to whom you did not promise,
They took possession with violence, and did not praise your honorable name.
(6) With pomp they set up a monarchy because of their arrogance,
They despoiled the throne of David in the arrogance of their fortune.
 (7) But you, O God, will overthrow them and will remove their offspring from the earth,
when there rises up against them a man that is foreign to our race.
(8) According to their sins you will repay them,
O God, So that it may befall them according to their works."…
….What can we surmise concerning the sectarian background of the Psalms of Solomon?[35] …The Psalms of Solomon did not represent Judaism at large because of their belief in the resurrection, worship apart from the temple, and fasting. Fasting in particular suggests a community behind these psalms, since this practice would appear to violate the requirements for unintentional sins as enumerated in Leviticus 4. Rather, piety had become a substitute for sacrifice, so that sins were now cleansed through confession and penance. The psalmist's community apparently worshiped apart from the temple, within the "synagogues of the pious" (Pss. Solomon. 17:16), where they gave thanks to God (Pss. Solomon. 10:6). … The explicit communal identity throughout the Psalms of Solomon, and the reference to the "synagogues of the pious" suggest that the synagogue was the community from which these psalms emanated. Therefore, these psalms are likely a collection of theological reactions of a Jerusalem synagogue community to the turbulent political and religious changes during the latter portion of the first century BCE. [36]
The Benedictus
A very interesting (and out of place) study is found in a book of essays in honor of EP champion, J.G. Vos.  Joseph A. Hill’s “The Benedictus:  God Remembers His Covenant-Word” (in John White, Ed., p. 66-72), is a short, but careful study of this wonderful prayer from Luke 1:68-79. We have mentioned this passage many times as a New Testament Canticle.  And, sure it is. Yet, Hill proposes “that the prophetic announcement of Zechariah the priest was the recitation of an extra-canonical psalm which, like some of the Psalms of Solomon, was well known within the Jewish community at the time of the first advent of Jesus Christ” (67). Whether this is, in fact the case, or not, this is totally plausible.  Hill continues:
This beautiful prayer-hymn, like its medieval counterpart, the piyyut, is composed largely of biblical phraseology, and its original setting may well have been that of the synagogue service…. In light of what has been said, there is good reason to suppose that the Benedictus is a liturgical psalm of late Judaic provenance, and that it was recited or chanted in the worship services of Judaism.  Its appearance in the New Testament with its distinctively Christian note clearly indicates its genre in the liturature of the Bible:  a Jewish-Christian psalm standing transitionally between the Psalms of the Old Testament and the heavenly canticles of the book of Revelation. (71-2).
Odes of Solomon
As we approach the N.T. era we find another collection of songs under Solomon’s name, The Odes of Solomon. The Odes of Solomon consist of 42 psalms. They are believed to have originated in either Antioch or Edessa and were originally written in Syriac. All scholars believe the Odes to be Christian; for example Charlesworth believes them to be the "earliest Christian hymn- book."[37] Old writes, “The first Christian hymnal, the Odes of Solomon, put together about the end of the first century, is a collection of some forty psalm pendants or paraphrases” (Leading, 55). He continues, saying that “it seems to have been common practice to compose psalm paraphrases or psalm pendants such as we have in the Odes of Solomon…” (Old, Leading,63). 
Foley tells us:
One extant collection of Christian hymnodic psalmody is the Odes of Solomon.  This collection of forty-two odes was probably the work of Jewish Christians in Palestine in the late first century C.E.  Written in imitation of the Davidic psalms, these psalmi idiotici employ a parallel structure in which each verse is divided in half (a colon) by a caesura (or sentence-stop) - a Semiticism captured in Charlesworth’s translation of Ode 1:
1.             The Lord is on my head like a crown,
                and I shall never be without Him.
2.             Plaited for me is the crown of truth,
                And it caused Your branches to blossom in me.
3.             For it is not like a parched crown that blossoms not;
4.             For You live upon my head,
                And have blossomed upon me.
5.             Your fruits are full and complete;
                They are full of Your salvation.... [38]
Other hymnodic psalms can be found in such apocryphal acts as those of John and Thomas. According to Wellesz, although these works are transmitted in Greek, the language demonstrates many characteristics of Semitic poetry.  The works of certain gnostic writers can also be considered hymnodic psalms. ..Bar-Daisan (d.222) …his son Harmonius…composed a new psalter.  As for orthodox writers, Kroll would argue for the existence of “hymns” in the works of Ignatius of Antioch ( and  Melito of Sardis (d. ca.190).  (Foley, 97-98)
How did Christians See Their New Songs?
Speaking of other such new songs, Old writes
But now the question is, did the first Christians understand their hymns, the hymns they wrote, to be the hymns of the Holy Spirit in the same way they understood the Psalms to be the hymns of the Holy Spirit or the canticles to be the reflection of the heavenly worship?  When Paul spoke of “spiritual songs” did he mean songs inspired by the Holy Spirit, which were a Christian counterpart of the Old Testament Psalms?  Probably not.  The reason is that all these early Christian hymns disappeared. The New Testament never included a collection of Christian psalms to go with the Gospels and Epistles. In the course of the second century the Gnostics wrote lots of “spirit-inspired hymns.” But the orthodox became more and more of the opinion that there was something much more inspired in the psalms and canticles than in the “spiritual hymns” which appeared in the worship of the early Church.  It seems much more likely that the earliest Christians understood their hymnody as a sort of elaboration, a sort of drawing out, commentary, or perhaps a sort of meditation on the canonical psalms and canticles traditionally used in the worship of the Temple and the synagogue.  (Old, Worship, 46-7).
The presupposition of EP adherents that any thing sung in worship besides the 150 “Davidic” Psalms is usurping the Psalter runs clear contrary to the intention of the early Church in unfolding the Scriptures in the Liturgy.
The Gloria in Excelsis
Another expansion upon a basic Scriptural text would be the Gloria:
The Gloria is an ancient hymn of praise to the Trinity based on Luke 2:14, where the angels appear to the shepherds and announce the birth of Christ:
GLORY to God in the highest, and peace to God's people on earth, Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.
GLORIA in excelsis Deo et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis. LAUDAMUS te, benedicimus te, adoramus te, glorificamus te, gratias agimus tibi propter magnam gloriam tuam, Domine Deus, Rex caelestis, Deus Pater omnipotens.
Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us; you are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.
DOMINE Fili unigenite, Iesu Christe, Domine Deus, Agnus Dei, Filius Patris, qui tollis peccata mundi, miserere nobis; qui tollis peccata mundi, suscipe deprecationem nostram. Qui sedes ad dexteram Patris, miserere nobis.
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
QUONIAM tu solus Sanctus, tu solus Dominus, tu solus Altissimus, Iesu Christe, cum Sancto Spiritu in gloria Dei Patris. Amen.
Also called the “Greater Gloria” and the “Great Doxology,” the Gloria is a version of an ancient Greek hymn dating form the 3rd century (or perhaps to the 1st). A very similar form is found in the Codex Alexandrinus (fifth century) and in Pseudo-Athanasius (before the fourth century). Extended further and with every trace of subordinationism corrected, it is sung by the Byzantine Church at the Orthros. In this form it has more verses than in the Latin, and ends with the Trisagion.
Traditionally it is believed that the Gloria was translated into Latin by St. Hilary of Poitiers (d. 366) and it is quite possible that he learned it during his exile in the East (360) and brought back a version of it with him. In any case, the Latin version differs from the present Greek form. They correspond down to the end of the Latin, which however adds: "Tu solus altissimus" (you alone are the most high) and "Cum sancto Spiritu" (with the Holy Spirit). The Greek then goes on: "Every day I will bless thee and will glorify thy name for ever, and for ever and ever" and continues with ten more verses (chiefly from psalms) and then ends with the Trisagion and Gloria Patri. [39]
Deiss gives it as the real Athanasius (295-373) who testified of its use in the morning Office (Treatise on Virginity, 20) “Therefore it goes back at least to the fourth century” (Deiss, Springtime, 252).
Such instances of hymns arising directly from Scripture, but then receiving additions as the leadership of the churches arranged the various aspects of the Liturgy, could be multiplied indefinitely.  Sufficient has been given to show that there was no simple principle of “exclusive psalmody” in evidence as operative in the early church.  The Psalter came into more prominence, actually, with the rise of the monastics, who (as already mentioned) sang them through every week (if not every day, and at least every month).    We cannot afford to study the late Medieval period, so we fast forward to the Reformation.
The Rise of Metrical Psalmody - The Reformation Period
Metrical Psalm-singing almost as we know it arose with the Reformation among the French, British and Swiss Reformed, as well as Psalms and Hymns by Lutherans and others outside of Church. The Hymns and Psalms were sung in Family worship and in the fields, and during battles (e.g. on both sides between Cromwell and the Covenanters).  Luther wrote, “The whole Psalter, Psalm by Psalm, should remain in use, and the entire Scripture, lesson by lesson, should continue to be read to the people” (Holladay, 1996, 195). 
Luther’s people learned to sing.  Practices were set during the week for the entire congregation, and in the home after the catechetical hour singing was commended to the family.  A Jesuit testified that “the hymns of Luther killed more souls than his sermons.”(ibid).
Calvin and Bucer provided complete Liturgies, which included the Psalms.  Calvin did not attempt a repristinization based merely upon the New Testament, but ordered his worship according to the pattern of the early Church. He did not justify his psalmody as the only way to worship.[40]  The Calvinist movement  was the primary source for the adaptation of psalms for congregational singing.  “The Psalms were their songs which they sang as the elect people of God in a covenant relationship with Him.” (Holladay, 1996, 198).   Calvin’s people completed the French Psalter in 1562, which was “a notable achievement both in is literary and musical qualities, especially the varieties of poetic meters and melodic rhythms” (Shepherd, 1976, 50).
In an excellent essay, “The Spirituality of the Psalter in Calvin’s Geneva,” Calvin College professor of worship, theology and music, John D. Witvliet, gives many valuable notes regarding the use of the Psalms and canticles in Geneva and beyond. Starting with Calvin’s first psalter, published in 1539 for his exile congregation in Strausbourg, he writes:
It was a collection of twenty-two texts by Clement Marot and Calvin himself that were set to tunes drawn primarily from the earlier German psalters. [In footnote 12, he continues] … Texts included 3, 15, 19, 32, 51, 103, 104, 114, 130, 137, 143; Calvin’s settings of 113 (unrhymed); the Ten Commandments with Kyrie; the Nunc Dimittis; and the Apostles’ Creed.  [Back to the text] … Several editions of the evolving psalter were printed in Geneva during the next two decades…. Finally, the complete Genevan Psalter was issued in 1562, a volume with 152 texts - each psalm, the Ten Commandments, and the Song of Simeon - set to 125 different tunes….
[footnote 18, next page] … In the  Genevan liturgy of 1542, a psalm was sung following the common confession.  In the related 1545 French liturgy for Strasbourg, the confession was followed by absolution and the singing of both tables of the Ten Commandments with Kyrie. [and fn. 19 ]  The 1542 liturgy called for singing psalms or reading Scripture during the distribution of the bread and cup.  The liturgies after 1545 called for singing of the Song of Simeon after the Supper. (Witvliet, 206 n, 207n.)   
Genevan Psalmody was not done happenstance: 
…Detailed tables… were printed in every psalter after 1549.   Proposed by Bourgeois and authorized by the Genevan council in 1546, these tables, which were framed and hung in the three Genevan churches, specified which psalms would be sung at each Sunday morning, Sunday afternoon, and Wednesday service.  In 1549, the entire psalter could be sung every seventeen weeks.  By 1562, twenty-five weeks were required, with the congregation singing upward of thirty stanzas per week…. The tables did not allow for the selection of a psalm that was pertinent to the sermon of the day.  Nor were the Psalms ordered sequentially as lectio continua…. In any case, this liturgical data provides poignant clues regarding the liturgical spirituality of the Genevan church.  It tells us that psalm singing was a discipline, a discipline of sung prayer… Thus, in one of the ironies of Reformation liturgy, the Genevan church adopted  a regimen of psalm singing not entirely unlike that of Benedictine monasticism. (Witvliet, 210-211).
As compared to Medieval liturgies, we are told,
What was new included the singing of whole or large portions of individual psalms rather than the versicles used in the medieval mass; the use of metrical reworkings of the text rather than the Psalms themselves; the use of the vernacular rather than church Latin; the singing of the Psalms by the entire congregation, not just the schola cantorum; and finally, the prevalent use of the Psalms outside the liturgy. …
[A]t its root, it was a corporate and liturgical spirituality. Calvin had contended that “the chief use of the tongue is in public prayers, which are offered in the assembly of believers, by which it comes about that with one common voice, and as it were with the same mouth, we all glorify God together, worshipping him with one spirit and the same faith.”  Whether in the nave of St. Pierre’s or in a small rural Genevan parish, the center of this spirituality was in the gathered congregation that sand the prescribed psalms week after week to familiar and study tunes. (Witvliet, 228-229)
In summary, with Calvin’s Genevan Psalter that the practice of preponderant Psalmody arose.  A few canticles were sung, along with the 10 Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer.  The Dutch Church reduced their practice to nearly exclusive Psalmody in 1619 at the Synod of Dordt.  However, some Scripture songs and prayers, and one hymn were preserved.
The historic practice of EP is a modification on a broader stream of preponderant Psalmody and essentially Inspired Praise, which goes back to Calvin and has some precedents in the early church and her councils. What is the true genesis, then, of Exclusive Psalmody? It is a British development.  The Scottish Kirk adopted the practice of exclusive Psalmody with the Covenanted Uniformity of the Second Reformation, when they legislated the use of the “Rouse” Psalter, developed mostly in England and thoroughly checked and corrected by members of Synod (c. 1650).  However, the Scots had been using their own Psalter since 1564, directly stimulated by the Genevan Psalter.  This included, in at least some editions, various “conclusions,” and Trinitarian doxologies.[41] The practice of the Scots just prior to Westminster is close to the practice of Calvin’s Geneva, which is close to the practice of the Early Church.  But, the Early Church never articulated the position of Exclusive Psalmody as we know it.  At times it rejected uninspired songs practically, but for reasons other than the exegetical ground we give today. Uninspired Hymns were accepted in the fourth century (and earlier), at times and in certain places.  But seem to have been excluded from public worship by Church courts for practical reasons, and because of the intrinsic superiority in most all respects, of the Inspired Word of God. It was with Westminster that the doxologies, conclusions and other Scripture songs were officially excluded from Public worship.  It was in 1980 that the RPCNA and RPCI (1990) made a doctrine of excluding other inspired praises of the Scriptures in principle from public worship.
            Witvliet earlier commented that psalm singing “as an act of the people, had the particular role of both praise and prayer.  As Calvin said, ‘As for the public prayers, they are of two sorts:  some of them make use of speaking alone, the others are with singing.” (Witvliet, 213)
Why Do We Sing in Worship?
            This brings to mind the question, Why do we sing in worship in the first place?  Of course, it is commanded.  Peterson gives us some other good reasons why:
During the act of worship something has been happening to the worshipers:  minds are cleared; perceptions come into focus; spirits are renewed.  As this takes place, ordinary speech, impatient of pedestrian prose, dances - it is condensed into poetry and then raised into tune.  Worship sings. Singing is speech intensified and expanded.  Song takes the natural rhythms and timbre of speech and develops its accents and intonations into music.
        There are songs everywhere in scripture.  The people of God sing.  They express exuberance in realizing the majesty of God and the mercy of Christ, the wholeness of reality and their new-found ability to participate in it.  Songs proliferate.  Hymns gather the voices of men, women, and children into century-tiered choirs.  Moses sings.  Miriam sings.  Deborah sings.  David sings. Mary sings.  Angels sing.  Jesus and his disciples sing.  Paul and Silas sing.  When persons of faith become aware of who God is and what he does, they sing.  The songs are irrepressible.
        Five songs are sung in the act of worship described in Revelation 4 and 5, but song is not confined to those chapters.  How could it be?  Singing cannot be “kept in its place.”  Songs break out through the Revelation.  [Footnote 3 - Rev. 7:10, 12, 11:17-18, 14:2-3, 15:3-4, 19:1-3, 19:6-8].  (Peterson, pp. 66, 198n.)
            The move employed by advocates of Exclusive Psalmody, when confronted with poetic passages in Scripture, such as those in Revelation, is to ask, “But, does the Scripture here report it as singing, or just saying?”[42] And, if there is some evidence that they may have been sung (cf. Lucan canticles), the follow-up question is, “But, are they intended for public worship?” (Cf. Bushell, p. 93, 103-4; with p. 94, where he writes, “…we see no reason to take any of the…songs of Revelation as anything more than poetic, or literary devices”).  This paper has shown that both of these questions are not founded in the nature of the Scriptures, of Psalmody, or the genius of the Temple, Synagogue, or the early Church, even of Calvin’s himself.
CONCLUSIONS & APPLICATIONS - May we Sing the New Songs of Scripture?
But the case for strict EP is undermined.  Our U.P., Professor McClenahan’s critera  (in McNaughter, 1907, 72) are not satisfied:
·         Were the Psalms used in connection with the services of the temple and the synagogue? YES.
·         Were they used exclusively in these services? NO. Other Scripture songs were certainly employed, probably a few uninspired lines were used in the Temple and certainly in some synagogues, at least, some uninspired psalms, hymns and songs were sung; The whole nature of the historic prayer and praise involves a cantillation and psalmody which does not support a strict differentiation[43] between the ‘service of praise’ vs. the ‘service of prayer,’ as separate and sharply distinct ordinances.  While modern exegesis may find this untenable, according to the Fathers of the Church, Hymns and Songs were distinct from Psalms (Jerome[44], Augustine,[45] Chrysostom[46]).
·         If these questions can be in the affirmative, then we have solid ground on which to build.  If these questions cannot be answered in the affirmative, then there is an impairment of the foundation on which our doctrine of the exclusive use of the Psalms stands.  There is an impairment in the foundation on which the doctrine of Exclusive Psalmody stands.  Perhaps McClenahan and the other United Presbyterians who wrote in 1907 came to realize this in the next two decades.
·         In a sense this question may be said to be the crux of the whole discussion about Psalmody.  AMEN.  If exclusive Psalmody was  not practiced in the Temple or the Synagogue, how can it be warranted for the New Testament Church?.
The commands of the Psalter to "sing a new song" are better fulfilled by New Testament song than just by singing OT Psalms (even with the hymns and canticles).  Including in OUR cannon of praise the few inspired praises in the Scriptures would undermine the case that we must compose songs outside of the Bible. The case would have to be made for the necessity of composing new songs - which has a harder time meeting the strict scrutiny standard of the RPW. Those, however, who insist upon Exclusive Psalmody (150) have the burden of showing how God can reveal NT inspired praises, in the form of songs, which are not allowed to be sung.  We have divine command to sing ‘hymns and spiritual songs’, such as those in Rev. and Luke;  we have approved example.  What we do not have is any indication that such Inspired songs are not included in the canon of spiritual songs to be sung so that the word of Christ may richly dwell within his people. 
            Therefore we have warrant of the strictest sort to sing these new songs since we have (a) inscripturated content, (b) approved example, (c) divine imperative, and (d) redemptive historical fulfillment  in context, form, and content.   Are not the saints in heaven singing a spiritual song, a hymn, a song?  Indeed they are.  While we may take Eph. 5 and Col 3 as calling us to sing songs of the Psalter, we have to choose particular songs to sing, one by one.  We never sing the whole Psalter in a given service!  If the imperatives of Eph and Col. are to betaken as a command to sing the Psalter, then that is impossible without doing it over time, sequentially.  However, if the command is taken as what it appears - to sing each kind of praise - then the songs of Revelation qualify without question.  For, they are even more so the Word of Christ, redemptive-historically, than the Psalms of the Old Testament.  It seems an odd sort of disobedience for us to exclude from our sung praises, in the name of an uninscripturated doctrine, those songs which God has included in the canon of the New Testament.
            Here we have no argument against the sufficiency of the Scriptures.  It is an argument against the sufficiency of the Old Testament to do all the work of both Testaments.  To imply that the saints on earth, must not, upon pain of sin, sing the songs which are fully inspired, inerrant and given by the Holy Spirit to be sung, stands upon the shifting sands of a rationalistic derived doctrine.  Here humanism asserts itself in the name of God.  The EP position as presently stated in our Testimony fails in that (a) it is not stated in the Scriptures themselves, nor (b) is it a good or necessary consequent of any set of scriptural teachings.  It is an historic innovation, going beyond the wording of any previous Confession or dogmatic statement.  It tightens our doctrine to suit our practice, so as to explicitly exclude, not only hymns of human composure, but hymns of Divine inspiration, put by God into the mouth of saints in heaven and on earth for our instruction & use:
2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for every good work.
ABSTRACT:  The Psalms have been the core of praise throughout Church history, from the time of David even to this day. Yet, from the beginning, the Psalms have kept company with other Scripture songs, inspired canticles, and various spoken and sung responses. Though forbidden by Church authority in certain periods, the occasional use of uninspired psalms, hymns and songs is evidenced at least as early as the Intertestamental period. Studies in the history of music indicate that assuming a sharp distinction between speech and song in the Liturgy of the Synagogue and early Church is unwarranted. Recent research has also called into question many long-standing assumptions about the singing of the Psalms in the Synagogue. Singing the Psalms to the exclusion of all other songs in Christian worship is a practice that emerged only among the Calvinist wing of the Reformation, and there only in part. Referring to the practice of the early Church as “near exclusive psalmody” is misleading and anachronistic. The service of praise in the Historic Church under both dispensations stands in need of an accepted phrase which is descriptive without implying a principle foreign to the mindset and practices of the earliest Christians and their Jewish predecessors. “Preponderant Psalmody” appropriately describes the historic practice, and “nearly exclusive Inspired Praise,” while inconvenient, is not an inaccurate term.

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A summary of Werner’s critical study of “The Genesis of the Sanctus in Jewish and Christian Lituriges” in his second volume of The Sacred Bridge, here follows:
During the last twenty years, more and more sources have come to light to indicate that the Jewish foundations of early Christian liturgies were considerably wider and deeper than had been thought previously…. Most historians have duly taken cognizance of these far-reaching discoveries, of which the Dead Sea Scrolls as are only one element, albeit a significant one.  Most of the musicologists, however, prefer to remain in the happy state of blissful ignornace, as far as liturgical sources are concerned…
      Here it will be our task to trace back as far as possible that prayer, which after Eucharist and psalmody, has inspired more musicians and poets than any other:  the Sanctus. We shall attempt to find a sort of mainstream of the text, and some, if by no means all of the ancient melodies of the text.  For terminological reasons we shall distinguish between the Hebrew and Aramaic Kedusha (henceforth K), the Tersanctus or Thrice-Holy (henceforth S) and the Trisagion or Aius (henceforth T), the periphrastic variant of S, which found its way into both Eastern and Western liturgies.
     The synagogal K has a long history. Its nuclear cell, Isa. 6:3, has in the course of time undergone many variations….The scriptural verse is nowhere alluded to in later books of the canonic OT; yet there are abundant references to it in the apocryphal and pseudepigraphic literature between the OT and the NT.  Of these numerous citations a few may be listed here: Apocalypse of Abraham 17:7; I Enoch (Ethiopic version) 39:12; II Enoch (Slavonic text) 20; Testament of Adam 1:4; Testament of Issac 8:3. 
     To these long-known texts two most significant additions can now be made; they are contained in the Dead Sea Scrolls (DSS), in Hymns of Thanksgiving, XVI, and the so-called Angelic Liturgy.  All the works listed are intertestamentary, i.e.., they were written in pre-Christian times, as some of them were known to St. Paul. Not a few were later altered in a christological sense.  In all of them the Jewish angelology is fully developed..
     The earliest texts of the synagogal K exist in three forms:…They are most evident in the K-Yotzer of the morning service, less pronounced in the K-‘Amida of the eighteen benedictions, and of the same strength in the K-deSidra (‘of the Academy’).  All three have two scriptrual passages in common, Isa. 6:3 and Ezek. 3:12, which are juxtaposed; the surrounding framework differs, however, quite considerably.  As every K has a framework of its own, we shall quote here the essential phrases of K-Yotzer and K-‘Amida, both anterior and posterior to the S iteself in their ancient order.  We shall underline the significant phrases.
    The chiefs of the hosts are holy beings that exalt the Almighty and incessantly declare the glory of God and His holiness.  Be Thou praised, O our Rock….Creator of holy beings…; Creator of ministering spirits, all of whom stand in the heights of the Universe, and proclaim with awe in unison (in one voice) aloud the words of the living God and everlasting King….All of them open their mouths in holiness and purity, with song and psalm; while they adore and extol, glorify and sanctify and ascribe soverignty to –
    The Name of the Divine King, the great, mighty, and dreaded One,… and they all take upon themselves the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven one from the other… in tranquil joy of spirit, with pure speech and holy melody, they all resspond as one and exclaim with awe:  Holy, holy, holy…. And the ophanim (‘wheels’) and the holy animals with a noise of great rushing, uprasing themselves toward the Seraphim, thus over against them offer praise and say: ‘Praised be the Glory of the Lord from His (its?) place…’ (Werner 108-9).
    True and firm, established and enduring…good and beautiful is Thy word for us for ever and ever…. Yea, faithful art Thou to quicken the dead.  Praised be Thou, O Lord, who quickenest the dead.
READER:  We will sanctify Thy Name in the world even as they sanctify it in the highest heavens, as it is written by the hand of Thy prophet: ‘And they called one unto the other and said:  Holy, holy, holy…’ (CONGREG.)
READER:  Those over against them say ‘Praised’.
CONGR.:  Praised be the glory of the Lord from His (its?) place…
READER (in silent prayer):  Thou art holy, and Thy Name is holy and holy beings praise Thee daily. (Selah). Praised art Thou, the holy God.
The Isaiah passage early became the subject of christological interpretation, due to the threefold ‘Holy’; later Church Fathers also discussed the synagogal K. The resemblances to Preface and S of the Latin rite, and to the Anaphora of the Eastern rites was likewise noticed during the Middle Ages.
     In the relatively recent discipline of liturgiology the question of the age of K and S has elicited a bulky literature.  Of the differing views we shall record here the three main ones:
(a)    Liturgically, the K antedates both S and T; the latter forms were under the influence of K.
(b)    Both S and T arose independently of K; K itself is post-apostolic.
(c)     Elements of K were used by the earliest Judaeo-Christians, though not by Judaism in general in apostolic times; from these sectarian rites the Church took over the basic elements and reshaped them in various versions.
     We shall examine these three conceptions and their respective arguments…. The angelological background of K, S, and T…. (110)
…. Particularly important here are the passages I Enoch 39:11-13, which we quote, and the DSS fragments of the so-called Angelic Liturgy.
    Before Him there is no ceasing. He knows what the world is before it was created, and generation to generation that shall arise  Those who sleep not bless Thee: they stand before Thy glory and bless, laud, and extol, saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy, is the lord of Spirits:  He filleth the earth with spirits.’  And here my eyes saw all those who sleep not, how they stand before Him and bless, and say:  ‘Blessed be Thou and blessed be the name of the Lord for ever and ever.
Here the second constituent element of K, Ezek. 3:12, is replaced by a short doxology from the psalms.  Yet the Ezek. passage is again a vision of angelic worship, part of the immortal image of the heavenly throne-chariot (Merkaba). ….The apocalyptic literature of pre-Christian Judaism thrived on these passages….
…150 B.C.E. and the first century C.E.  It must have been during these 250 years that  the pattern of K was set and canonized.  That the Sadduceans, who held jurisdiction in the Temple, mocked angelology is well known also from Christian sources, just as the miracle-hungry masses of Judea loved it. At least an archetype of K must have evolved in the synagogues of that time, since a later inclusion of so significant a portion of the liturgy would not have been possible without leaving definite and argumentative traces in early rabbinci sources, such as Mishna or Tosefta. There, howefver, the K is already taken for granted….
     The K-‘Amida has come down to us in a Palestinian and a Babylonian version.  The Babylonian redaction of the eighteen benedictions, of which the K is today an integral part, contains in its earliest form already the reference to a preceding K:
    Thou art holy, and Thy Name is holy, and holy beings praise Thee daily (3rd benediction)….
… The case lies somewhat differently with the K-Yotzer. Here we are in possession of a source dating from the first Christian century, which formally states the existence of interplay between angelic and human worship:….
    By the discovery of the DSS an older analysis by K. Kohler has been vindicated.  Long before some of the pseudepigrapha were published and sixty years before the Qumran literature made its impact on our knowledge of the intertestamentary theology, Kohler had in a most intuitive study attributed the K-Yotzer to the liturgy of the Essenes.  Certain ideas reported as Essenic by Philo occur often in the DSS, thus justifying Kohler’s views.
     All these analyses prove the pre-Christian existence of K-Yotzer and the apostolic origin of the K-‘Amida. … [he goes into disputes on this point, reporting positions of scholars who labored prior to the DSS] (111-113)…
Werner resumes his case on page 115:  “The Concurrence of Sanctus, Kedusha, and Trisagion” -
     The first literal quotations of Isa. 6:3, the seraphic hymn, in early Christian literature occur in Clement’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, and in Rev. 4:8,.  Of the former docment we know fairly well the date of its redaction (96-100), of the latter we have at least a terminus post quem in the testimony of Papias, who was Bishop of Hierapols in Phrygia during the early part of the second century.  He must have known at least parts of Rev.  All this evidence points to the end of the first century as the time when canonical and apostolic authors began to make use of the seraphic hymn….
     Further early referenes to S are found in St. Ignatius,  Ad. Eph. 4:2 and in the Alexandrian Clement’s writings. Let us compare these concrete testimonies with the liturigal function of S in early Christianity:
(1)    Clement of Rome, 1 Cor., 34:6,7:
    Ten thouseand times ten thousand waited on Him, and a thousand thousand seved Him and cried: ‘holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the entire creation is full of Thy glory’, and we, guided by our conscience, gathered together in our place, cry to Him continually as with one voice; so that we become sharers in his great and glorious promises.
(2)    Rev. 4:8:
    And the four living creatures, each of them with six wings, are full of eyes all round and within, and day and night they never cease to sing:   Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty (pantokrator) who was and is, and is to come. 
(3)    Clement of Alexandria, Stromata, VII, 12:
…and let him teach his son…in a way…so that he would always praise God, just as the praising beasts do, of whom Isaiah speaks allegorically…
(4)    St. Ignatius, Ad Eph., 4:2:
…this is why in the symphony of your concord omonoia and love, praises of Jesus Christ are sung.  But you, the rank and file, should also form a choir, so that, joining the symphony by your concord, and by your unity taking the keynote from God, you may with one voice through Jesus Christ sing a song to the Father….
(5)    An allusion to the S by Tertullian:
[from the footnote, Werner cites the Latin in the text]: Tertullian,  de oratione, 3:
and to Him the surrounding hosts of angels ceased not to exclaim:  “Holy, holy, holy is God…” hence we, also potential candidates for angels, if we have so deserved, can already here on earth learn that heavenly word and service of future splendour… [241n - I think the Latin may reflect better theology-TC]
(6)  An early Martyrology (Passio SS perpetuae et Felicitatis): (Werner, 116)
[note, p. 241, tr.- and we entered and heard one word spoken in unison:  “Agios, agios, agios”, incessantlyexclaimed and to the right and to the left four presbyters…
     In order to evaluate the elements common to all allusions to the K-S before the first appearance of a consistently arranged and articulated eucharistic prayer, as attributed to Hippolytus (fl, c. 215 C.E.), we shall add a few remarks on the standing or recurrent phrases.
ad (1) ‘constantly as with one voice’, occurs already in 1 Enoch 39:11, and I Enoch 61:11.
ad (2) ‘four living creatures’ cf. Ezek. 1.
ad (4) ‘the keynote from God’ (xrwma qeou) is another example of St. Ignatius’ preference for musical similes.
ad (5) ‘iam hic caelestem…vocum’. Tertullian stresses the need for preparing oneself on earth for the angelic adoration.
     We note that in all cases the angelic choir serves as a kind of exemplary worship which all Christians ought to emulate on earth.  The question arises when the OT passage of the S was understood in a christological, especially in a trinitarian sense, which the Thrice-Holy is bound to suggest.  Nor was this idea neglected by early Christian authors.  Origien, Jerome, and Victor of Vita, to name only three, interpreted the S in a strictly trinitarian way.  The link between OT and NT, between synagogal and ecclesiastical worship was preserved exactly by the angelological framework, common to both institutions. (Werner, 116-7).
… The addition of the Hosanna to the S marks the turning point in the unfolding of the eucharistic prayer…. Aside from the passage in Matt. 21:9, the Hosanna acclamation occurs first in the Didache,  although not in connection with the S, but in a Judaeo-Christian version of the grace after meals.  The passage reads:  “Let grace come and this world perish… Hosanna to the Son of David.”  The Hosanna in this context as that of Matt. 21:9 is used in an erroneous sense….I surmise that due to its inclusion in the S the entire prayer S-Hosanna (later Benedictus) - Hosannah was called the umnoj epinikioj, the victory-hymn.
…. In this very sense Symmachus, the translator of Scripture, uses asmata epinikia in Isa. 6:3, also for the psalm-superscription lam’natzeah, usually - and falsely - translated as ‘to the music master’ or ‘choirmaster’ in Pss. 4:1; 8:1 and elsewhere.
     Why, then, does the S carry such an almost military epithet? As far as I was able to trace this designation, it seems that St. John Chrysostom used it first in a specifically liturgical sense, usually with the byword akatapaustwj - ‘incessantly’.  Thereafter it occurs quite frequently in the Eastern liturgies. Who is conquored?  …. Perhaps it represents nothing but the continuation of Symmachus’ byword of the Isaiah passage…. 
    Pseudo-Dionysius,  De caelesti hierarchia VII, 4:
    Therefore the theology of Scripture has transmitted to us men of the earth the hymns, in which the loftiness of their illunination is revealed in a most holy manner.  For like the rushing of the        waters… the one group of this hierarchy exaltantly exclaims:
                Praised be the Glory of the Lord from His Place.
The others respond in loudly sounding that often-celebrated praise of God (doxologia) in great piety:
                Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Sabaoth, / The whole earth is full of His Glory.
I have described these supreme laudations (hymnologia) of the spirits of the highest heavens according to my best ability in my book, ‘On the divine hymns’…Hence it behooves us…to praise the supreme divinity. [Werner’s own translation of the Areopagite’s original] (118-9).
The length of this summary of one point of Werner’s work is instructive - other liturgical questions receive similar exposition from liturgists. Werner says, “We know that it (K) was chanted responsorially in a kind of simple recitative:  this was necessary because the Thrice-Holy was always sung by the congregation” (121). This fact is amply testified to in Talmudic literature.  …. We shall…resort to …truly primary sources:  to Clement of Alexandria, the Apocalypse of Moses, and to those numerous angelologies, where, as in Rev., psalmody is coupled with the chant of the S. (122):
Clement of Alexandria:
    For this reason also we raise the head and lift the hands towards heaven and stand on tiptoe as we join in the closing outburst of prayer, following the eager flight of the spirit into the intelligible world: and while we thus endeavour to detach the body from the earth by lifting it upwards along with the uttered words, we spurn the fetters of the flesh and constrain the soul…to ascend into the holy place.
Clement refers here to a peculiar igestus orationis,  which was well known among the Jewish mystics of antiquity:  the lifting of the feet and almost jumping on tiptoe three times exactly timed with each ‘Holy’ of the K.  This custom is practised even today among certain hasidic groups…. If we may trust the sources that have come to light thus far, one may conjecture that it was either the S or the acclamation:  ‘One is holy…’
     If the S was the last public response, we may apply Clement’s remark about the tiptoeing to it….
     We recall also that in Rev. and in the Apocalypse of Moses the S is coupled with, or surrounded by psalmody and Alleluia-singing. It was the same Alexandrian Clement who gave us, in his paedagogus, a valuable description of the practice of psalmody among the jew of Egypt.  This is a lengthy, well-known passage, wherein he suggests that the mode of the Jewish psalmody was a variant of the Tropos Spondeiakos.  Plutarch offers in his book on music a technical analysis of the Tropos Spondeiakos,  so that we may…reconstruct the skeleton of that mode….
   Let us now survey the field covered:  musically speaking, the oldest tradtion of the K-S can be traced back to the second century C.E., and there is good probabilty, to judge from the widespread and invariably ancient texts connected with the tunes of the Clementine Spondeiakos, that that particular tradition had its origin in or around Alexandria. The stability of the texts, the mixture of angelologies from Isaiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel…the position of the S before the anamnesis - the most memorable place in the liturgy! - the many biblical and some post-biblical Hebraisms, the possibility of trinitarian interpreation of the S, of christological significance of the Hosanna, the gestus orationis in K and S, common to Jews and Christians:  all these factors let us believe that indeed the musical tradition of the S was established early in Christianity.  The identity with the psalmody of Alexandrian Jews , of Clement’s time, with the primitive Yemenite tradition, with Byzantine and Gregorian patterns make it more than likely that we have succeded in tracing an inportant case of liturgical and musical interdependence between Church and Synagogue (108-126).

[1] Directory for the Worship of God, Chapter 2, (RPCNA Constitution, p. F-3).
[2] taken from an email from Christopher Coldwell (see Fleming, [ed], Bibliog.) to Bruce Hemphill and others.
[3] Some Westminster Divines clearly did not, and advocated Hymn singing as acceptable.
[4] Compare the Free Church of Scotland 1843, reported by Ward (p. 91).
[5] In Ecclesiastical History V, xxviii, 5, Eusebius “speaks of non-biblical psalms and songs written by Christians ‘from the beginning’. The context of the remarks is a defense of the divinity of Christ against Paul of Samosata,” - “For who does not know the books of Iranaeus, Melito and the others which pronounce Christ to be both God and man, and all the psalms and songs written from the beginning by faithful brethren, which hymn Christ as the Word of God, and address him as God?” (Citation #210 in McKinnon, p. 99).
[6] Lindsay cites Dr. Salmon, agreeing with him that “the bulk of what Tertullian taught at a Montanist he probably would equally have taught if Montanus had never lived…he saw in the Montanist movement something which was no innovation, but a strong assistance in preserving the old condition of the Church with its prophetic ministry,” i.e. it was an essentially conservative movement (Lindsay, 238). Interesting.
[7] Bushell, quoting Ephraemi Syrus, p. 158.
[8] [Quasten reports the following:] The participation of women in the singing of the community is seen in the choirs of virgins which Ephraem founded to sing his hymns at the liturgy. A century earlier Paul of Samosata had introduced a similar innovation…. Of Ephraem almost the same is told:  “In Edessa he instituted societies of women, taught the members the madrashe…and they gathered in church on the feasts of the Lord, on Sundays and on the feasts of the Martyrs.” It was because of the singing of hymns and the activity of their choirs of women that the heretics Bardesanes and Harmonius obtained so great a following.  Ephraem was only able to combat this danger when he himself had hymns sung by women choirs. We are informed of this in an excerpt from an anonymous writer in Assemani’s anthology:  “When the holy Ephraem saw how all were being torn away by the singing [of the heretics], and since he wanted to keep his own people away from dishonorable and worldly plays and concerts, he himself founded choirs of consecrated virgins taught them the hymns and responses whose wonderful contents celebrated the birth of Christ, his baptism, fasting, suffering, resurrection and ascension, as well as the martyrs and the dead.  He had these virgins come to the church on the feasts of the Lord and on those of the martyrs, as they did on Sundays. He himself was in their midst as their father and the citharist of the Holy Spirit, and he taught them music and the laws of song” (Quasten, 78-9).
[9] Bushell reports this other view, that of Smith, “the wording of this canon does not restrict the church to the Biblical Psalms and canticles, but would at least proscribe the introduction of new compositions into the worship service.”  Bushell says, however, “according to the canon, both ‘private psalms’ and ‘uncanonical books’ are to be replaced by the ‘canonical books’ of Scripture” (Bushell, 159-60n). 
[10] McKinnon reports this as coming from Pseudo-Chrysostom, de poenitentia:  “In the churches there are vigils, and David is first and middle and last.  In the singing of early morning hymns David is first and middle and last…..David alone stands by, arousing all the servants of God to angelic vigils, turning earth into heaven and making angels of men” (McKinnon, number 195, p. 90). 
[11] R. Ward’s interepretation of Paul of Samosata’s developing hymns provides a contrast from the heretical side: Starting with the quotation from  Eusebius Ecclesiastical History (VII, 30): “He stopped the psalms to our Lord Jesus Christ, as being modern and the productions of modern men, and trains women to sing psalms to himself in the middle of the church on the great day of the Passover, which any one might shudder to hear.” Ward comments, “There are two ways of understanding this important quotation.  Some suggest Paul could hardly have condemned the psalms as modern and then written hymns of his own, and so they render:  he stopped the psalms…as if they were modern.  Advocates of this view do not usually discuss the use of the terms psalms for the compositions prescribed by the bishop.  These would either be other Biblical psalms which seemed more consistent with Paul’s views, or songs of his own composition (the usual assumption).  But if psalms could refer to songs of mere human composition then the same could be true of the first reference” (Ward 54-55). Again, if the heretic condemned uninspired hymns, Why did he write his own?  I suppose both sides could be accusing the other of unwarranted innovation, then inconsistently joining in the innovation.  Inconsistency is not a tradmark of our times.  But, this is not strong evidence that the church adhered exclusively to the Psalter, though doubtless, inspired praise was then preponderant.  What, if what Fischer (Foley, 96) suggests is true: Psalms were first introduced to combat heretical hymns?
[12] Cf.  Edersheim quote, the discussion from Foley, and the work of Moll, all below.
[13] [Perhaps McClenhan refers to the following quote from Edershiem:] A fragment of one of the hymns sung that night has been preserved. It was sung by the “Chassidim” and “men of Deed,” and by those who did penance in their old age for the sins of their youth:
     The Chassidim and Men of Deed.-
 “Oh joy, that our youth, devoted, sage, /Doth bring no shame upon our old age!”/ The Penitents./ “Oh joy, we can in our old age/ Repair the sins of youth not sage!”
 [Both in unison.] “Yes, happy he on whom no early guilt doth rest,/ And he who, having sinned, is now with pardon blest./ Significance of the Illumination.
It seems clear that this illumination of the Temple was regarded as forming part of, and having the same symbolical meaning as, “the pouring out of water.” (“Ages Software” version of Edersheim, Temple, 187-8).
[14] This continues in the Eastern Church for monks and clergy, as reported by Henry Patrick Reardon in his very useful Christ in the Psalms, and, with modification, for some Roman Clergy (Cf. Holliday).  Anglicans have a monthly pattern in the Book of Common Prayer.
[15] I have attempted to summarize Moll’s comments, giving out only those portions which seem well grounded in solid historical research and which comport with a broad scholarly consensus into modern times.  I shall eschew full citation within the text, where Moll and his translators and editors cite the literature.  Many ellipses in what follows therefore represent citations within Moll’s text.  Occasionally citations will be given, mostly to primary source material.  Indication of the original authorities, when given, will often be abbreviated in a manner unfit for a full academic publication.  These comments will apply to other citations at points. I have attempted to retain the capitalization scheme, spelling and emphases found in the American edition, including the Latin numbering, figuring I would introduce fewer errors with more literal transcription, than by translation. He is inconsistent in his capitalization.  I have corrected a few typographical errors (and doubtless introduced many more).
[16] Werner confirms this historic order, writing, “One source describes the obligatory repertoire of the Levites as Ps. 24:1-10, for the first day (Sunday); Ps. 48:1-15, for the second; Ps. 82:1-8, for the third; Ps. 94:1-23 and/or Ps. 95:1-10 for the fourth; Ps. 81:1-17 for the fifth; Ps. 93:1-5 for the sixth day; and Ps. 92:1-16 for the Sabbath.  The choice of these psalms is said to have been determined by God’s activities on the first seven days of creation, and the verses which allude to them.  This was, however, by no means the entire repertory of the Levitical chorus” (S.B.II, p.14-5).
While confirming the use of these Psalms in the temple, Bradshaw questions a continuing use in the Synagogue, “Whatever the origin of the canonical psalms and their possible liturgical use in the First Temple, evidence for the place of psalms in the second Temple and early synagogue is very limited.  The Mishnah lists a psalm for each of the seven days of the week (24, 48,82, 94, 81, 93, 92) sung by the Levites at the Temples sacrifices (Tamid 7.4), and at the important festivals the Hallel (Psalms 113-118) accompanied the sacrifices.  But, while the hallel seems to have been taken over into the domestic Passover meal at an early date, and apparently also into the festal synagogue liturgy, the first mention of the adoption of the daily psalms in the synagogue is not until the eighth century.  Nor are there earlier references to the use of other psalms in the synagogue, except for an enigmatic statement in the Mishnah concerning ‘those who complete the hallel every day’ (Meg. 17b).  The Babylonian Talmud identifies this hallel as pesukei de-zimrah, ‘verses of song’ (B. Shab. 118b), a phrase which was later used to denote Psalms 145-50, but there is no way of knowing whether the Talmudic expression was originally understood in this sense or not, still less wither the Mishnaic hallel referred to the same psalms. … In any case, it would appear that what is envisaged is private recitation by pious individuals rather than a formal part of synagogue liturgy, just as also seems to be true of the Babylonian Talmud’s reference to some who recite Psalm 145 three times a day (B.Ber. 4b).”  (Bradshaw, 38).
Werner, writing in 1984 about the use of the Psalms in the Synagogue as running parallel to the appointed readings of the Law and Prophets (cf. van Olst) - and aware of the critical questions - reports a scholarly consensus which, on good grounds, posits “That the Proper with its lessons and chants had, at least in principle, its model in the Old Synagogue” (100). Citing other scholars:  “Psalmody between lessons [the Graduale] is a legacy of the Synagogue” (97); “…We have already mentioned some of the numerous references  of the early Church fathers to the fact that the Gradual was a direct legacy of Levitical Temple practice. This practice was introduced into the Synagogue…” (99)
[17] See Edward Foley’s Foundations of Christian Music for an extensive treatment of the “Auditory Environment” of ancient Jewish and Christian civilizations. Cf. infra..
[18] For an update on the research in this respect, compare the works of Jewish musicologist, Eric Warner (cf. below), and the Orthodox Scholar, Egon Wellesz.
[19] Werner elaborates that “Of choristers, twelve adult Levites constituted the minimum chorus, but the number could be augmented ad libitum (nine for the nine lyres, two for the two harps, and one for the cymbal). Their chant was usually ‘spiced’ by the sopranos and altos of their sons, who stood at their feet, and are called ‘their tormentors’ in the Mishna” (Werner, Sac. Br. II, 14). Very picturesque and easily intuited from all parental worship experiences through history!
[20] Borrowed from an unpublished paper by Bruce Hemphill, “Some More on History and Excluisve Psalmody” (1986).  In my Ages Digital Library (“The Master Christian Library”) version, this citation is found on p. 196-7.
[21]  Foley’s fn.48: Philo comments, for example, that the synagogue was a place where the participants performed “hymns, songs and canticles” (Philo, Against Flaccum 14).  Although he provides no examples of what these might have looked like, see the psalmi idiotici composed by the Qumran community collected in Geza Vermes, The Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 2d ed (Middlesex: Penguin Books, 1975) 150-201. (Foley, 63).
[22] Werner is referring here to Augustine’s Confessions x, xxxii, 49-50; PL xxxii, 799-800, which I cite below from McKinnon, whose comments are quoted here (see text for Aug.):  “In a passage unique among the church fathers for its aesthetic introspection, Augustine scruples over the pleasure he takes in melodious psalmody. Note the distinction he makes between ‘speaking’ and ‘singing’ in connection with Athanasius. For a passage in which Augustine describes his feelings during the private reading of the Psalter, see IX, iv, 8.
[23] Foley foonotes Werner’s first volume of the Sacred Bridge: “Thus Werner concludes, ‘It is not possible to compare simply Jewish and Christian practices concerning the chant of the lesson. Here the respective traditions are too incommensurate:  while Judaism has established a minutely elaborated system of ecphonetic accents applied to every word, the Churches have limited themselves mostly to closing or pausal accents of verses” [S.B. 1:456]”. (Foley, 89n).
[24] See Werner’s extensive discussion below.
[25] Rowland S. Ward tells us, “The earliest non-Biblical reference to Christian praise is found in Pliny’s Letter to the Emperor Trajan concerning the Christians in Bithynia about AD 112.  He says, ‘It was their habit on a fixed day to assemble before daylight and recite by turns a form a words (or, song) to Christ as a god.’  But it is not certain that this description refers to singing, although it was so understood by Tertullian (Apology, 2) and Eusebius (Ecclesiastical History, III, 33) at a later time.  If singing is meant, rather than a recitation of a profession of faith, the Latin word used (carmen) is too general to enable the kind of composition to be identified.  The use of a Biblical Psalm cannot be ruled out seeing that the Psalter is Christ-centered, as was the faith and practice of these early Christians (cf. singing to the Lord in Eph. 5:19).  (Ward, 52).
[26] As reported by John Wilson, “The important Council of Laodicea, which met about 360 A.D., forbade “the singing of uninspired hymns in church, and the reading of the uncanonical books of Scripture” (Canon 59).  This was not a general council, it is true - only what we should call a synod.  But the Council of Chalcedon, which met almost a century later (451 A.D.), one of the largest and most important of all the ecumenical councils, confirmed this canon of the Laodicean synod…. It follows, then, beyond the possibility of reasonable contention, that up to this time - the middle of the fifth century - whatever may have been the emotional and occasional exceptions to this rule, the Psalms of the Bible were the songs of the Church” (“The Psalms in the Post-Apostolic Church,” in McNaughter, [ed.], 166-7).  My own literal translation of the Latin statement from A.D.563, as given above (after 24 years of no Latin) would be, “That apart from Psalms or canonical scriptures of the New and Old Testaments, no poetical compositions in the church shall be sung. 
[27] Werner tells us that “The old legend that Ignatius introduced the custom of antiphonal singing in the Church (Socrates, Hist. Eccl., vi,8) was often repeated and can even today be found in some books.  Lightfoot [Apostolic Fathers] adds to this (more than seventy years ago!): ‘A tradition which appears so late does not deserve consideration…. Antiphonal singing indeed did not need to be suggested by a heavenly vision… It was practised with much elaboration of detail in the psalmody of the Jews, as appears from the account given of the Egyptian Therapeutes by Philo…’” (Werner, Sac. Bridge II, 241).
[28] Canon 15:  No one to sing in church, “besides the canonical cantors, who ascend the ambo and sing from a parchment” (McKinnon,  #255, p. 118).
[29] Jerome (341-420), in his Commentarium in epistulam ad Ephesios III, v,19, Jerome writes:  “’Addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs (canticis), singing and making melody (psallentes) to the Lord with all your heart.’ He who has abstained …And we ought therefore to sing, to make melody and to praise the Lord more with spirit than with the voice. This in fact what is said: ‘singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord’.  Let youth hear this, let them hear it whose duty it is to sing in the church, that God is to be sung to, not with the voice but with the heart - not in daubing the mouth and throat with some sweet medicine after the manner of the tragedians, so that theatrical melodies and songs are heard in the church, but in fear, in work and in knowledge of the Scriptures.  Although one might be, as they are wont to say, kakophonos, if he has performed good works, he is a sweet singer before God.  Thus let the servants of Christ sing, so that not the voice of the singer but the words that are read give pleasure; in order that the evil spirit which was in Saul be cast out from those similarly possessed by it, and not introduced into those who have made of God’s house a popular theatre” (144-5).
[30] Here are the texts for comparison from NA26 and LXX:  Hebrews 1:6 o{tan deV pavlin eijsagavgh/ toVn prwtovtokon eij" thVn oijkoumevnhn, levgei,     KaiV proskunhsavtwsan aujtw'/ pavnte" a[ggeloi qeou'. (NA26).  Deuteronomy 32:43 … KaiV proskunhsavtwsan aujtw'/ pavnte" uiJoi qeou': eyfranqhte, eqnh, meta tou laou autou, kai eniscusatwsan autw pante" a[ggeloi qeou': oti... (Rahlfs Septuaginta, p.350). From the  ODAI: Nouem Odae ecclesiae graecae, 2) Widh Mwusew" en to Deuteronomiw:  v. 43 “…eyfranqhte, ouranoi, ama autw, KaiV proskunhsavtwsan aujtw'/ pavnte" a[ggeloi qeou'… (Septuaginta, p. 169 paginated as part of Vol. II, Libri poetici et prophetici).
[31] Werner (S.B.II, 161) treats Ps. 154 to some analysis. It is part of the Qumran lectionary, pre-Christian.
[32] Earlier scholars tended to see Baruch quoting Ps. Sol.,
[33] -from Atkinson’s (Prof. Temple University) web site.
[34] D. Jongkind reports that “In modern editions of the LXX (e.g. Rahlfs, LXX, 2.471-489), a collection of 18 psalms are included under the title of Psalms of Solomon (PssSol) …. This might give the impression that this apocryphon was widespread and often included in the LXX in more ancient times, which was, however, definitely not the case. Though the text became available in 1626, it took till the 19th century before it was seriously studied in Biblical scholarship for the first time. The most accessible ET is by R.B. Wright in Charlesworth (ed.), OTPseud 2.639-670 (Wright is also preparing a new critical edition of the Greek text).. (
[35] Ps. Sol. are attributed to a “Deuteronomistically inspired theology and piety [which] continue[s] in the post-canonical literature in such a manner that the main themes of Deuteronomistic thought are to be counted among the decisive roots of “Common Judaism,” which then were especially cultivated by the Pharisees (Roland Deines, “The Pharisees Between ‘Judaisms’ and ‘Common Judaism’” in Carson, ed, p. 454).
[36] Internet, Cf. - This article is apparently a summary of the introduction to Atkinson’s book (see Bibliography).
[37] Charlesworth, The Odes of Solomon (Oxford: Clarendon, 1973) ,  p. vii.  Found at “The Odes of Solomon and their Relationship with the Johannine Tradition and the Dead Sea Scrolls,” by by Paul Jarratt (
[38] I am following Charlsworth’s translation as found on the internet, see link above.
[39] from the Catholic Encyclopedia,, cited by []
[40] The Genevan Psalter, while it contained a few gospel canticles and catechetical pieces, settled for virtually exclusive psalmody….Calvin gives us his reasons for this….When we sing them [psalms] it is God himself who is putting the words in our mouths so that it is he himself who sings within us, exalting his glory. It is for this reason Calvin tells us, that Chrysostom exhorts men, women, and children regularly to sing the psalms that in this way they might join themselves to the company of angels. One notices that Calvin does not appeal to the authority of Scripture in this matter. In defending his preference for psalmody Calvin appeals not to Scripture but to John Chrysostom and Augustine. This being the case one can be sure that Calvin had no objection if in other churches hymns other than the psalms were sung. His use of exclusive psalmody was a matter of preference.  (Old, 1984, 51-2).
[41] In “The Hymnology of the Scottish Reformation,” David Hay Fleming downplays the role of these responses, but informs us that various editions of the Book of Common Order with the Psalms included “spiritual songs,” such as various “conclusions,” and also the “song of Blessed Mary, called Magnificat;’ and ‘The Song of Simeon, called Nunc Dimittis,’” etc. (233).  He refers to Westminster Scots Divine, Ballie, quoting his opponent, Dr. Bonar: “The ‘Gloria Patri’ was also in common use; and our readers may perhaps remember the long defense which Ballie makes of it, and the somewhat impatient way in which he treats the objectors”  (236). See also, Ward, p. 76.
[42] This may not seem totally unprecedented, Cf. Augustine - In Epistle CCXI, 7, #379:  “Be instant in prayer at the appointed hours and times. Let no one do anything in the oratio other than that for which it was made and from which it derives its name, so that if nuns who have the free time wish to pray even outside the regular hours, others who wish to do something else there will not prove an obstacle to them. When you pray to God in psalms and hymns, let what is pronounced by the voice be meditated upon in the heart; and do not sing something unless you read that it is to be sung, for what is not thus noted to be sung, ought not to be sung” (164). However, in Schaff’s translation of this part of a letter written by Aug. to rebuke the nuns where his sister had been the prioress (Master Christian Library, p. 1134) it is clearer that the reference is not to what is on the face of the Scriptures, but in the prayer books they had in the convent.
[43] The only patristic support I found for this kind of distinction was Augustine
[44] Commentarium in epistulam ad Ephesios III, v,19 (McKinnon, p. 144-5).
[45] In In psalmum lxxii,  1, Augustine defines a hymn (McKinnon, #360), “Hymns are praises of God with song; hymns are songs containing the praise of God.  If there be praise, and it is not of God, it is not a hymn; if there be praise, and praise of God, and it is not sung, it is not a hymn. If it is to be a hymn, therefore, it must have three things:  praise, and that of God, and song” (158).
[46] In his commentary on Colossians, 3:16 (Hom. IX,2; McKinnon, #186), Chryosostom gives his distinction between psalms and hymns: “’Teach’, he says, ‘and admonish one another with psalms, with hymns and spiritual songs’ (Col 3:16). Observe also the considerateness of Paul. Since reading is laborious and very tiring, he did not lead you to histories but to psalms, so that you could by singing both delight your spirit and lighten  the burden.  ‘With hymns,’ he says, ‘and spiritual songs’.  Now your children choose satanical songs and dances, as if they were cooks, caterers and chorus dancers; while no one knows a single psalm, which seems rather to be a thing of shame even, to be laughed at and ridiculed… The psalms contain all things, but hymns in turn have nothing human.  When one is instructed in the psalms, he will then know hymns also, as a more divine thing. For the powers above sing hymns, they do not sing psalms” (McK, p. 87).