- "What you do in Church should define what you do outside. The Church is the Tradition of Heaven. What, you deify yourself in Church, just so you can delve right back into worldliness?"
How else can anyone draw from these statements any conclusion other than the conclusion that we should listen only to church music in our day-to-day lives outside of church?
Well, you don't need
to listen to secular music. If you do it's up to you, and it's your own risk if
you think it can equal Byz music in approaching God; actually, the real danger is attachment to the things of the world, and music is an offshoot of that. Again, not trying to promote fear; just asking, if one says that Byz music is truly Holy and Perfect and a product of God Himself, then you wonder why exactly one would choose something different? Now, if you say that secular music is equal to Byz music, I dare to disagree, and it's not so much that I am tying to defend it, but that it's simply not true. The world is simply not on the same level with Orthodoxy, no matter how close or refined it may try to be. If you think about it, why would God even try? He came to rescue us from the world, to offer a New Way, He actually built it for 2000 years, and now turn around and say that Salvation is just as possible in the world, that it doesn't really make that big a difference. Then why invest so much heart and blood in a Tradition of its own? It's not a perfect argument, I know,and you'll probably say so, but these are at least some serious questions that one needs to ask. My last attempt to shed some light by re-quoting The Fathers, instead of negating things, it's more important and of universal value (not just in the church building) what The Fathers do affirm, what they teach us to do, period --
CHRYSOSTOM "David formerly sang songs, also today we sing hymns
. He had
a lyre with lifeless strings, the church has
a lyre with living strings. Our tongues are the strings of the lyre with a different tone indeed but much more in accordance with piety.
Here there is no need for the cithara, or for stretched strings, or for the plectrum, or for art, or for any instrument
; but, if you like, you may yourself become a cithara, mortifying the members of the flesh and making a full harmony of mind and body. For when the flesh no longer lusts against the Spirit, but has submitted to its orders and has been led at length into the best and most admirable path, then will you create a spiritual melody."
CLEMENT "Leave the pipe to the shepherd, the flute to the men who are in fear of gods and intent on their idol worshiping. Such musical instruments must be excluded from our wingless feasts
, for they arc more suited for beasts and for the class of men that is least capable of reason than for men. The Spirit, to purify the divine liturgy from any such unrestrained revelry chants: 'Praise Him with sound of trumpet,"for, in fact, at the sound of the trumpet the dead will rise again; praise Him with harp,' for the tongue is a harp of the Lord; 'and with the lute. praise Him.' understanding the mouth as a lute moved by the Spirit as the lute is by the plectrum; 'praise Him with timbal and choir,' that is, the Church awaiting the resurrection of the body in the flesh which is its echo; 'praise Him with strings and organ,' calling our bodies an organ and its sinews strings, for front them the body derives its Coordinated movement, and when touched by the Spirit, gives forth human sounds; 'praise Him on high-sounding cymbals,' which mean the tongue of the mouth which with the movement of the lips, produces words. Then to all mankind He calls out, 'Let every spirit praise the Lord,' because He rules over every spirit He has made. In reality, man is an instrument arc for peace, but these other things, if anyone concerns himself overmuch with them, become instruments of conflict, for inflame the passions.
The Etruscans, for example, use the trumpet for war; the Arcadians, the horn; the Sicels, the flute; the Cretans, the lyre; the Lacedemonians, the pipe; the Thracians, the bugle; the Egyptians, the drum; and the Arabs, the cymbal. But as for us, we make use of one instrument alone: only the Word of peace by whom we a homage to God, no longer with ancient harp or trumpet or drum or flute which those trained for war employ."
(Clement of Alexandria, 190AD The instructor, Fathers of the church, p. 130) (yes, you will want to avoid such connotation; they may be obvious to you, but others may think that the Church is related to these things)
EUSEBIUS "Of old at the time those of the circumcision were worshipping with symbols and types it was not inappropriate to send up hymns to God with the psalterion and cithara and to do this on Sabbath days... We render our hymn with a living psalterion and a living cithara with spiritual songs. The unison voices of Christians would be more acceptable to God than any musical instrument. Accordingly in all the churches of God, united in soul and attitude, with one mind and in agreement of faith and piety we send up a unison melody in the words of the Psalms."
(commentary on Psalms 91:2-3)
CLEMENT "Moreover, King David the harpist, whom we mentioned just above, urged us toward the truth and away from idols. So far was he from singing the praises of daemons that they were put to flight by him with the true music; and when Saul was Possessed, David healed him merely by playing the harp. The Lord fashioned man a beautiful, breathing instrument, after His own imaged and assuredly He Himself is an all-harmonious instrument of God, melodious and holy, the wisdom that is above this world, the heavenly Word."
… "He who sprang from David and yet was before him, the Word of God, scorned those lifeless instruments of lyre and cithara. By the power of the Holy Spirit He arranged in harmonious order this great world, yes, and the little world of man too, body and soul together; and on this many-voiced instruments of the universe He makes music to God, and sings to the human instrument. "For thou art my harp and my pipe and my temple"
(Clement of Alexandria, 185AD, Readings p. 62)
"Do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, by singing among yourselves psalms and hymns and spiritual songs."
- Apostle PaulLet the word of Christ dwell in you richly, as you teach and admonish each other in all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs."
- Apostle Paul
the turbulence and roughness and disorder in the soul is smoothed away and sadness is overcome." - Saint Athanasios the Great
"Nothing, nothing uplifts the soul so much
, and gives it wings, and liberates it from the earth, and releases it from the fetters of the body, and makes it aspire after wisdom and deride all the cares of this life, as the melody of unison and rhythm-possessing sacred songs."
- Saint John Chrysostom "The Fathers of the Church, in accordance with the example of the psalmodizing of our Savior and the holy Apostles
, established that only vocal music be used in the churches and severely forbade instrumental music as being secular and hedonistic, and in general as evoking pleasure without spiritual value."
- George Papadopoulos