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Author Topic: About Classical music  (Read 3864 times) Average Rating: 0
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pengupk
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« on: July 16, 2012, 11:52:44 AM »

Hi,

I am a finnish lutheran thinking of becoming an orthodox christian. Since I am a music school instrument teacher and active chamber musician, I would want to know what the orthodox think of classical music?

I read that after persecutions of christians in 4th century, many Church Fathers were against instrumental music but that nowadays for example St Seraphim of Platina and Elder Poryphorios have held classical music in high esteem. I guess there is not a single answer here and of course it depends on the music, but if someone could help me with this, I'd be happy. I have been thinking a lot that if classical music would be somehow sinful or bad for your soul since Church Fathers have been so much against it, but I guess it's because of music of 4th century was something totally different from music of our days and that it really depends on the music more than what instruments are being used.

And just to make sure, I'm not talking instrumental music in liturgy, only music as a job and as a career and as a pleasure.

Thank you all!
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LizaSymonenko
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« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2012, 12:24:34 PM »

I'm Orthodox, and I love classical music!

The only "type" of music that I think would be "bad" is something that would awaken certain sinful desires in the listener.

Anything, that leads a person to sin, is a no-no....be it sultry music, or music where the person gets so lost in the dance they lose themselves, or video games, movies, books, etc.

Welcome to the forum, pengupk!  Smiley


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« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2012, 12:33:42 PM »

It is interesting, isn't it? This apparent change of heart. But I have heard from people who espouse this view (that classical music is good/appropriate/better than other music), which I do not share, that the difference is that classical is "more pure" or perhaps "less dangerous" relative to other forms of music -- primarily pop music like rock'n'roll and the like. Again, I do not agree with this view, but I can see what they mean. It is hard to honestly and impartially compare Rachmaninov, who also did arrangement of the liturgy, to the likes of KISS or Lady Gaga or whoever. My own Bishop, HG Bishop Youssef holds this view, as well, but it apparently has not stopped people in my church from listening to various classical Arabic musicians (for which they have not been turned away by our priests, of course), so I would be surprised if there were any kind of dogmatic stance held, either by EO or OO.
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« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2012, 12:34:51 PM »

Nice to see more Finns in here. Tervetuloa!

I don't think Orthodoxy is anyhow against Classical Music. The only problem with it would be using it during services but other than that I don't think there is any problem. In fact on the contrary since some Orthodox theologians such as Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk seem to deem it as a sort of symbol of European Christian culture. So based on that we could say that Orthodoxy has a rather positive view of Classical Music.
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« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2012, 12:39:27 PM »

The beauty of classical music to the Orthodox Christian is that, at least before the onset of modernism in the 20th century, classical music is built on principles of order and harmony and beauty. (Classical music from Bach to Rach actually follows a somewhat strict, complicated mathematical theory.) I think this is something Fr. Seraphim Rose touched on in his teaching on music, and this is something I have experienced as an Orthodox Christian and a classically trained musician.
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neon_knights
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« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2012, 01:03:43 PM »

I'm going to echo Liza's post and say that any music is "acceptable" to listen to, unless you feel that listening to it would harm you spiritually or cause you to sin. In that case, don't listen.

Don't blindly follow the teachings of assorted monks and Fathers when it comes to personal matters like these. Times change, as do opinions of churchmen on personal matters such as these. Music listened to for recreation has absolutely nothing to do with the Orthodox Faith, so the words of a 4th century church father condemning instrumental music, or those of a 20th century monastic condemning rock music really shouldn't be taken as authoritative. Fr. Seraphim Rose, while he was a very holy and wise man indeed, was not God, and was not inerrant, and therefore his personal views on issues like this should not be taken as Gospel truth. This is the same with the Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not infallible teachers, or your priest/bishop, and therefore IMO their teachings on pastoral matters such as these should not be followed to the tittle. Remember that for every Church Father, monastic, or priest that says "this and this is eeeeeviiillll", there will be a hundred that say directly otherwise.

My advice would be, read the Bible, listen to your heart, and be accountable to someone(ie a priest). You will know in your heart if you are listening to music that will harm you spiritually; listen to your priest or pastor, and if you trust him and he thinks that certain music will harm you then listen to him.

Music is a beautiful thing, and in my opinion no form or style of music is can be inherently evil or destructive. A style is just that, a style. Music doesn't have to conform to certain standards of "order, harmony, and beauty" to be good music. Composers like Bartok and Shostakovich can be just as "beautiful" as Bach or Brahms, and likewise the latter can be just as morbid as the former at times. I'm sure you as a musician know this perfectly.

My main point is, don't take the words of the Church Fathers or certain monks and priests on pastoral issues such as this as Gospel truth. You are in no way accountable to the Church Fathers, or priests and monks that you don't know. Get to know a priest, listen to his advice when he gives it, and listen to your heart. That's what's really important.
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« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2012, 01:15:53 PM »

I do not see it being used in church or functions of the Church such as marriages, but on an individual basis, I see no problem with it.  I love classical music.
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« Reply #7 on: July 16, 2012, 01:18:12 PM »

I'm going to echo Liza's post and say that any music is "acceptable" to listen to, unless you feel that listening to it would harm you spiritually or cause you to sin. In that case, don't listen.

Don't blindly follow the teachings of assorted monks and Fathers when it comes to personal matters like these. Times change, as do opinions of churchmen on personal matters such as these. Music listened to for recreation has absolutely nothing to do with the Orthodox Faith, so the words of a 4th century church father condemning instrumental music, or those of a 20th century monastic condemning rock music really shouldn't be taken as authoritative. Fr. Seraphim Rose, while he was a very holy and wise man indeed, was not God, and was not inerrant, and therefore his personal views on issues like this should not be taken as Gospel truth. This is the same with the Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not infallible teachers, or your priest/bishop, and therefore IMO their teachings on pastoral matters such as these should not be followed to the tittle. Remember that for every Church Father, monastic, or priest that says "this and this is eeeeeviiillll", there will be a hundred that say directly otherwise.

My advice would be, read the Bible, listen to your heart, and be accountable to someone(ie a priest). You will know in your heart if you are listening to music that will harm you spiritually; listen to your priest or pastor, and if you trust him and he thinks that certain music will harm you then listen to him.

Music is a beautiful thing, and in my opinion no form or style of music is can be inherently evil or destructive. A style is just that, a style. Music doesn't have to conform to certain standards of "order, harmony, and beauty" to be good music. Composers like Bartok and Shostakovich can be just as "beautiful" as Bach or Brahms, and likewise the latter can be just as morbid as the former at times. I'm sure you as a musician know this perfectly.

My main point is, don't take the words of the Church Fathers or certain monks and priests on pastoral issues such as this as Gospel truth. You are in no way accountable to the Church Fathers, or priests and monks that you don't know. Get to know a priest, listen to his advice when he gives it, and listen to your heart. That's what's really important.
What faith tradition do you represent, neon_knights?
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« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 01:29:34 PM »

I'm going to echo Liza's post and say that any music is "acceptable" to listen to, unless you feel that listening to it would harm you spiritually or cause you to sin. In that case, don't listen.

Don't blindly follow the teachings of assorted monks and Fathers when it comes to personal matters like these. Times change, as do opinions of churchmen on personal matters such as these. Music listened to for recreation has absolutely nothing to do with the Orthodox Faith, so the words of a 4th century church father condemning instrumental music, or those of a 20th century monastic condemning rock music really shouldn't be taken as authoritative. Fr. Seraphim Rose, while he was a very holy and wise man indeed, was not God, and was not inerrant, and therefore his personal views on issues like this should not be taken as Gospel truth. This is the same with the Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not infallible teachers, or your priest/bishop, and therefore IMO their teachings on pastoral matters such as these should not be followed to the tittle. Remember that for every Church Father, monastic, or priest that says "this and this is eeeeeviiillll", there will be a hundred that say directly otherwise.

My advice would be, read the Bible, listen to your heart, and be accountable to someone(ie a priest). You will know in your heart if you are listening to music that will harm you spiritually; listen to your priest or pastor, and if you trust him and he thinks that certain music will harm you then listen to him.

Music is a beautiful thing, and in my opinion no form or style of music is can be inherently evil or destructive. A style is just that, a style. Music doesn't have to conform to certain standards of "order, harmony, and beauty" to be good music. Composers like Bartok and Shostakovich can be just as "beautiful" as Bach or Brahms, and likewise the latter can be just as morbid as the former at times. I'm sure you as a musician know this perfectly.

My main point is, don't take the words of the Church Fathers or certain monks and priests on pastoral issues such as this as Gospel truth. You are in no way accountable to the Church Fathers, or priests and monks that you don't know. Get to know a priest, listen to his advice when he gives it, and listen to your heart. That's what's really important.
What faith tradition do you represent, neon_knights?

As of now, unaffiliated. I haven't been to church in a significant amount of time, and I haven't really been praying as much as I should be. I still strongly consider myself a Christian, and I intend to start seriously inquiring into Orthodoxy when the right time arises.
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« Reply #9 on: July 16, 2012, 02:11:38 PM »

I don't see any problem with classical music, and love it myself! Most people in the Church seem to feel the same way. Have you heard of Metropolitan Hilarion (Alfeyev) of Volokolamsk? He's composed a beautiful rendition of St. Matthew's Passion. I don't know where the whole thing would be, but here's the finale.

Then-Bishop Hilarion (this recording is several years old) even comes out at the end to receive flowers and applause.
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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2012, 02:59:57 PM »

I'm sure that the reason the fathers opposed instrumental music was probably due to some type of pagan associations that went along with it back in the day or that it took people's mind off of the purpose of Church. However, since times have changed, I don't think there is anything wrong with it, provided it does not tempt you to sin in some way.
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2012, 03:09:45 PM »

I'm going to echo Liza's post and say that any music is "acceptable" to listen to, unless you feel that listening to it would harm you spiritually or cause you to sin. In that case, don't listen.

Don't blindly follow the teachings of assorted monks and Fathers when it comes to personal matters like these. Times change, as do opinions of churchmen on personal matters such as these. Music listened to for recreation has absolutely nothing to do with the Orthodox Faith, so the words of a 4th century church father condemning instrumental music, or those of a 20th century monastic condemning rock music really shouldn't be taken as authoritative. Fr. Seraphim Rose, while he was a very holy and wise man indeed, was not God, and was not inerrant, and therefore his personal views on issues like this should not be taken as Gospel truth. This is the same with the Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not infallible teachers, or your priest/bishop, and therefore IMO their teachings on pastoral matters such as these should not be followed to the tittle. Remember that for every Church Father, monastic, or priest that says "this and this is eeeeeviiillll", there will be a hundred that say directly otherwise.

My advice would be, read the Bible, listen to your heart, and be accountable to someone(ie a priest). You will know in your heart if you are listening to music that will harm you spiritually; listen to your priest or pastor, and if you trust him and he thinks that certain music will harm you then listen to him.

Music is a beautiful thing, and in my opinion no form or style of music is can be inherently evil or destructive. A style is just that, a style. Music doesn't have to conform to certain standards of "order, harmony, and beauty" to be good music. Composers like Bartok and Shostakovich can be just as "beautiful" as Bach or Brahms, and likewise the latter can be just as morbid as the former at times. I'm sure you as a musician know this perfectly.

My main point is, don't take the words of the Church Fathers or certain monks and priests on pastoral issues such as this as Gospel truth. You are in no way accountable to the Church Fathers, or priests and monks that you don't know. Get to know a priest, listen to his advice when he gives it, and listen to your heart. That's what's really important.
What faith tradition do you represent, neon_knights?

As of now, unaffiliated. I haven't been to church in a significant amount of time, and I haven't really been praying as much as I should be. I still strongly consider myself a Christian, and I intend to start seriously inquiring into Orthodoxy when the right time arises.
I was just wondering because your reply shows a dismissiveness toward the Fathers and a readiness to advise a more subjective "just look to the Scriptures and follow your heart" approach that don't really jibe with an Orthodox mindset. The Convert Issues board exists as a place for potential converts to learn an Orthodox understanding of the Christian faith. I'm not sure your advice is all that Orthodox, and I'm honestly not sure that someone who hasn't been worshipping anywhere for a while and hasn't started inquiring seriously into the Orthodox faith yet really knows enough about the Faith to give a potential convert the Orthodox advice he/she seeks.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 03:16:07 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
neon_knights
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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2012, 03:25:26 PM »

I'm going to echo Liza's post and say that any music is "acceptable" to listen to, unless you feel that listening to it would harm you spiritually or cause you to sin. In that case, don't listen.

Don't blindly follow the teachings of assorted monks and Fathers when it comes to personal matters like these. Times change, as do opinions of churchmen on personal matters such as these. Music listened to for recreation has absolutely nothing to do with the Orthodox Faith, so the words of a 4th century church father condemning instrumental music, or those of a 20th century monastic condemning rock music really shouldn't be taken as authoritative. Fr. Seraphim Rose, while he was a very holy and wise man indeed, was not God, and was not inerrant, and therefore his personal views on issues like this should not be taken as Gospel truth. This is the same with the Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not infallible teachers, or your priest/bishop, and therefore IMO their teachings on pastoral matters such as these should not be followed to the tittle. Remember that for every Church Father, monastic, or priest that says "this and this is eeeeeviiillll", there will be a hundred that say directly otherwise.

My advice would be, read the Bible, listen to your heart, and be accountable to someone(ie a priest). You will know in your heart if you are listening to music that will harm you spiritually; listen to your priest or pastor, and if you trust him and he thinks that certain music will harm you then listen to him.

Music is a beautiful thing, and in my opinion no form or style of music is can be inherently evil or destructive. A style is just that, a style. Music doesn't have to conform to certain standards of "order, harmony, and beauty" to be good music. Composers like Bartok and Shostakovich can be just as "beautiful" as Bach or Brahms, and likewise the latter can be just as morbid as the former at times. I'm sure you as a musician know this perfectly.

My main point is, don't take the words of the Church Fathers or certain monks and priests on pastoral issues such as this as Gospel truth. You are in no way accountable to the Church Fathers, or priests and monks that you don't know. Get to know a priest, listen to his advice when he gives it, and listen to your heart. That's what's really important.
What faith tradition do you represent, neon_knights?

As of now, unaffiliated. I haven't been to church in a significant amount of time, and I haven't really been praying as much as I should be. I still strongly consider myself a Christian, and I intend to start seriously inquiring into Orthodoxy when the right time arises.
I was just wondering because your reply shows a dismissiveness toward the Fathers and a readiness to advise a more subjective "just look to the Scriptures and follow your heart" approach that don't really jibe with an Orthodox mindset. The Convert Issues board exists as a place for potential converts to learn an Orthodox understanding of the Christian faith. I'm not sure your advice is all that Orthodox, and I'm honestly not sure that someone who hasn't been worshipping anywhere for a while and hasn't started inquiring seriously into the Orthodox faith yet really knows enough about the Faith to give a potential convert the Orthodox advice he/she seeks.

I didn't at all intend to show a dismissiveness towards the Fathers.  My point was, that in pastoral issues such as these, like whether a certain type of music is appropriate for listening, the opinions of the Fathers really shouldn't be considered authoritative unless personally "prescribed" by a priest or bishop. Is this not true? Or do Orthodox Christians think that the writings of the Fathers should be followed without question on every matter of life? Why should we listen to Father A or monk B if they say "this sort of music is inherently evil", when priest C,D,E,F,G and bishop H,I,J,K, and L all say its not? I said multiple times that this person should get acquainted with a priest and seek advice from him on pastoral matters such as these. Is this not an Orthodox idea? Please read over my post again, as I think you've got the wrong idea as to what I'm trying to say.
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« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2012, 03:50:11 PM »

Fwiw some of the Fathers, such as St. Gregory the Theologian, recognized the positive aspects of music...

"Among the kings, David is celebrated, whose victories and trophies gained from the enemy are on record, but his most characteristic trait was his gentleness, and, before his kingly office, his power with the harp, able to soothe even the evil spirit." (Oration 43, 73)

I used to have more quotes, but I've lost track of the file I had them in  Undecided

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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2012, 11:24:40 PM »

I enjoy classical music and actually play classical guitar...if anyone is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/user/frkyrillos/videos

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2012, 11:57:44 PM »

I enjoy classical music and actually play classical guitar...if anyone is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/user/frkyrillos/videos

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos

Father, I am interested indeed.  Great playing.
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« Reply #16 on: July 17, 2012, 01:11:22 AM »

I'm going to echo Liza's post and say that any music is "acceptable" to listen to, unless you feel that listening to it would harm you spiritually or cause you to sin. In that case, don't listen.

Don't blindly follow the teachings of assorted monks and Fathers when it comes to personal matters like these. Times change, as do opinions of churchmen on personal matters such as these. Music listened to for recreation has absolutely nothing to do with the Orthodox Faith, so the words of a 4th century church father condemning instrumental music, or those of a 20th century monastic condemning rock music really shouldn't be taken as authoritative. Fr. Seraphim Rose, while he was a very holy and wise man indeed, was not God, and was not inerrant, and therefore his personal views on issues like this should not be taken as Gospel truth. This is the same with the Church Fathers. The Church Fathers are not infallible teachers, or your priest/bishop, and therefore IMO their teachings on pastoral matters such as these should not be followed to the tittle. Remember that for every Church Father, monastic, or priest that says "this and this is eeeeeviiillll", there will be a hundred that say directly otherwise.

My advice would be, read the Bible, listen to your heart, and be accountable to someone(ie a priest). You will know in your heart if you are listening to music that will harm you spiritually; listen to your priest or pastor, and if you trust him and he thinks that certain music will harm you then listen to him.

Music is a beautiful thing, and in my opinion no form or style of music is can be inherently evil or destructive. A style is just that, a style. Music doesn't have to conform to certain standards of "order, harmony, and beauty" to be good music. Composers like Bartok and Shostakovich can be just as "beautiful" as Bach or Brahms, and likewise the latter can be just as morbid as the former at times. I'm sure you as a musician know this perfectly.

My main point is, don't take the words of the Church Fathers or certain monks and priests on pastoral issues such as this as Gospel truth. You are in no way accountable to the Church Fathers, or priests and monks that you don't know. Get to know a priest, listen to his advice when he gives it, and listen to your heart. That's what's really important.
What faith tradition do you represent, neon_knights?

As of now, unaffiliated. I haven't been to church in a significant amount of time, and I haven't really been praying as much as I should be. I still strongly consider myself a Christian, and I intend to start seriously inquiring into Orthodoxy when the right time arises.
I was just wondering because your reply shows a dismissiveness toward the Fathers and a readiness to advise a more subjective "just look to the Scriptures and follow your heart" approach that don't really jibe with an Orthodox mindset. The Convert Issues board exists as a place for potential converts to learn an Orthodox understanding of the Christian faith. I'm not sure your advice is all that Orthodox, and I'm honestly not sure that someone who hasn't been worshipping anywhere for a while and hasn't started inquiring seriously into the Orthodox faith yet really knows enough about the Faith to give a potential convert the Orthodox advice he/she seeks.

I didn't at all intend to show a dismissiveness towards the Fathers.
I'm not saying you intended to show such dismissiveness. I just think your words betray unconsciously a deeply held world view that has little room for the Fathers.

My point was, that in pastoral issues such as these, like whether a certain type of music is appropriate for listening, the opinions of the Fathers really shouldn't be considered authoritative unless personally "prescribed" by a priest or bishop. Is this not true?
No, this is not true.

Or do Orthodox Christians think that the writings of the Fathers should be followed without question on every matter of life?
False dichotomy that reveals just how little you actually know of how the Orthodox venerate the wisdom of the Holy Fathers. Our following after the way of the Fathers is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Whereas we do not necessarily consult the writings of the Fathers to answer every question on every picayune little detail we face in our daily lives, we do grant them more authority than you appear to do. Our position is a bit more nuanced than you would like to think.

Why should we listen to Father A or monk B if they say "this sort of music is inherently evil", when priest C,D,E,F,G and bishop H,I,J,K, and L all say its not? I said multiple times that this person should get acquainted with a priest and seek advice from him on pastoral matters such as these. Is this not an Orthodox idea?
Yes and no. We do value the counsel of our priests and bishops, but we shouldn't go running to them every time we need a question answered on even the picayune little details of life. God did give each of us a mind and the opportunity to acquire the discernment that comes from living life in the Holy Spirit.

Please read over my post again, as I think you've got the wrong idea as to what I'm trying to say.
Actually, I think you're getting the wrong idea of what I'm trying to say. One who has never been Orthodox and who freely admits to not having cast a shadow on the door step of any church for a long time probably shouldn't presume to offer counsel to someone who is thinking about converting to the Orthodox Christian faith. The Orthodox Faith is learned just as much--nay, I would say even more by experience than it is by book learning. Your words reveal just how little you understand this and how little you understand the Orthodox Christian way of discerning wisdom. Acquire the experience that comes from living an Orthodox life for a few years, then maybe you'll be able to counsel other potential converts on how to live an Orthodox life.
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« Reply #17 on: July 17, 2012, 07:03:22 AM »

An activity that engages the intellect and the spirit at once is one step closer to the divine; a good word for it is elevation or buoyancy.  Music that emphasizes beat and rhythm over tune and harmony (or even dissonance,if properly placed within the structure- see my icon) appeals to a different aesthetic.  Some may say "lower" as contrasted to the "higher."
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« Reply #18 on: July 17, 2012, 09:30:08 AM »

(or even dissonance,if properly placed within the structure- see my icon)
Who is that in your icon? Igor Stravinsky?
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« Reply #19 on: July 17, 2012, 09:52:28 AM »

Or do Orthodox Christians think that the writings of the Fathers should be followed without question on every matter of life?
False dichotomy that reveals just how little you actually know of how the Orthodox venerate the wisdom of the Holy Fathers. Our following after the way of the Fathers is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Whereas we do not necessarily consult the writings of the Fathers to answer every question on every picayune little detail we face in our daily lives, we do grant them more authority than you appear to do. Our position is a bit more nuanced than you would like to think.

Why should we listen to Father A or monk B if they say "this sort of music is inherently evil", when priest C,D,E,F,G and bishop H,I,J,K, and L all say its not? I said multiple times that this person should get acquainted with a priest and seek advice from him on pastoral matters such as these. Is this not an Orthodox idea?
Yes and no. We do value the counsel of our priests and bishops, but we shouldn't go running to them every time we need a question answered on even the picayune little details of life. God did give each of us a mind and the opportunity to acquire the discernment that comes from living life in the Holy Spirit.

PtA, in order to summarize and clarify somewhat, would it be reasonable to say that we read the Fathers and seek the counsel of our priests and bishops in order to learn how to make a decision rather than to determine what that decision should be?

P.S. I like and listen to classical music myself.
(edit to add PS)
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« Reply #20 on: July 17, 2012, 12:43:32 PM »

Or do Orthodox Christians think that the writings of the Fathers should be followed without question on every matter of life?
False dichotomy that reveals just how little you actually know of how the Orthodox venerate the wisdom of the Holy Fathers. Our following after the way of the Fathers is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Whereas we do not necessarily consult the writings of the Fathers to answer every question on every picayune little detail we face in our daily lives, we do grant them more authority than you appear to do. Our position is a bit more nuanced than you would like to think.

Why should we listen to Father A or monk B if they say "this sort of music is inherently evil", when priest C,D,E,F,G and bishop H,I,J,K, and L all say its not? I said multiple times that this person should get acquainted with a priest and seek advice from him on pastoral matters such as these. Is this not an Orthodox idea?
Yes and no. We do value the counsel of our priests and bishops, but we shouldn't go running to them every time we need a question answered on even the picayune little details of life. God did give each of us a mind and the opportunity to acquire the discernment that comes from living life in the Holy Spirit.

PtA, in order to summarize and clarify somewhat, would it be reasonable to say that we read the Fathers and seek the counsel of our priests and bishops in order to learn how to make a decision rather than to determine what that decision should be?
To some extent, that is what I'm saying.
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« Reply #21 on: July 17, 2012, 01:51:09 PM »

I'm listening to it right now, is absolutely beautiful and I think it is set apart from other kinds of music.

However, for all it's beauty, it has no place in our churches.
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« Reply #22 on: July 17, 2012, 02:43:24 PM »

I'm listening to it right now, is absolutely beautiful and I think it is set apart from other kinds of music.

However, for all it's beauty, it has no place in our churches.
How, then, do you define classical music such that it has no place in our churches? Much of what we call classical music was composed originally for church use. Not only is this true of the Western churches, but also even of the Orthodox Church--for example, Rachmaninoff's All Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, Tchaikovsky's Divine Liturgy, the "Our Father" by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Do these not count as works of classical music merely because we use them in church?
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« Reply #23 on: July 20, 2012, 06:54:18 PM »

I came out of lurking for this! I'm a Ph.D. candidate in musicology and ethnomusicology at the University of Kentucky, and besides wrestling with the decision to convert or not, the role of "classical" music in day-to-day and ecclesiastical life is at the forefront of my attention these days. I'm actually writing my dissertation on Metropolitan Hilarion and his conservatory teacher Vladimir Martynov. I also teach music appreciation so I'll speak out of that experience, too.

I put "classical" in quotation marks because it properly only refers to the music of about 1750-1800, particularly that of Mozart, F.J. Haydn, and their contemporaries in a certain segment of Europe. I'll speak out of western musical history: since about 1808 (the premiere of Beethoven's Fifth), the role of classical music in society began to compete for airtime with the role of religion in society, particularly in light (pun intended) of the Enlightenment and a certain Friederich Schleiermacher, whose aesthetic interpretation of Christianity became the de rigeur approach to Christian theology in the "cultivated West," e.g. cultural centers such as Paris, Vienna, Berlin, etc. So, in the 19th century, composers began to be regarded as priests and seers with a certain closeness to the divine. Where the stymied religion of protestant liberalism was unable to speak to the hearts and spiritual situations of the public, they turned to the artist as their new prophet, and performances took the place of liturgy or Mass or what have you.

And yet, some of the West's most prominent composers, particularly in the 20th century, have been persons of tremendous Christian devotion: Messiaen, Stravinsky, Poulenc, Bruckner, Brahms all come to mind. So for some time in the West there's been a bizarre dichotomy between music as faith over against music through faith. I won't comment on the Westernized aesthetics of Russia in the late 19th century since that's a field I'm not as comfortable with.

Frequently in evangelical schools in the USA, there's a ban on any kind of popular music, favoring classical music and "traditional hymns" (by which I mean four-square hymns from the 19th century American South) as the only permissible listening material. What many such administrators fail to recognize is that there exists a large amount of classical music that is incredibly dark and sensual, and honestly some of the pop and rock out there looks childish next to the intensity of works like Berg's Lulu or Richard Strauss' Salome. Now, I am clearly not in favor of pitching these works because they contain "objectionable content;" rather, we as discerning listeners must engage them as cultural documents that encapsulate particular ideologies of particular times. If you're going to listen to edgy music, don't waste your time with Lady Gaga and her ilk; listen to something like the Symphony of Psalms or the Litanies a la Vierge Noire and be genuinely challenged!
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« Reply #24 on: July 20, 2012, 07:01:19 PM »

Lulu.

One of my favorites and I've had the privilege of seeing it performed twice.

But this is another thread that is begging for my attention.

So much confusion, so little time.
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« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2012, 07:04:34 PM »

Welcome to the forum, golgicomplex Smiley
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« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2012, 08:28:10 PM »

I enjoy classical music and actually play classical guitar...if anyone is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/user/frkyrillos/videos

God bless,
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Father, I am interested indeed.  Great playing.

seconding that Father, wonderful! I like and listen to classical music as well.
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« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2012, 10:46:39 PM »

Hi,

I am a finnish lutheran thinking of becoming an orthodox christian. Since I am a music school instrument teacher and active chamber musician, I would want to know what the orthodox think of classical music?

I read that after persecutions of christians in 4th century, many Church Fathers were against instrumental music but that nowadays for example St Seraphim of Platina and Elder Poryphorios have held classical music in high esteem. I guess there is not a single answer here and of course it depends on the music, but if someone could help me with this, I'd be happy. I have been thinking a lot that if classical music would be somehow sinful or bad for your soul since Church Fathers have been so much against it, but I guess it's because of music of 4th century was something totally different from music of our days and that it really depends on the music more than what instruments are being used.

And just to make sure, I'm not talking instrumental music in liturgy, only music as a job and as a career and as a pleasure.

Thank you all!



I am a musician myself and love orchestral music. Many of the great Russian composers of the 19th century; Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and others actually composed music for liturgical services. Tchaikovsky uses one of our most beloved hymns O Lord Save Thy People in several pieces of music including his Symphony #2 and  1812 Overture. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an entire piece based on the Paschal stichera and troparia. You may be familiar with the Great Russian Easter Overture. If you haven't heard it and for all of my Orthodox friends who may not be familiar with it here is a link. Being a brass player it's definitely one of my favorites.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lAV4I5-Fpc&feature=related
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« Reply #28 on: July 21, 2012, 12:42:46 AM »

Lulu.

One of my favorites and I've had the privilege of seeing it performed twice.

But this is another thread that is begging for my attention.

So much confusion, so little time.

I hope you're not talking about the Lulu I'm thinking of right now.
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« Reply #29 on: July 21, 2012, 12:58:48 AM »

I put "classical" in quotation marks because it properly only refers to the music of about 1750-1800, particularly that of Mozart, F.J. Haydn, and their contemporaries in a certain segment of Europe.
I noticed that you say that classical music only refers to music from 1750 - 1800. I  thought that  the early symphonies  (1732-1739) of Giovanni Battista Sammartini which were modelled on the  introductory instrumental pieces of Baroque Italian opera, could be considered as reflecting a transition from the Baroque to the Classical period. And although the latter half of the eighteenth century is often mentioned as the beginning of the classical period, is it not true that some historians say that western classical music had its beginnings in the Gregorian chant of the Roman Catholic Church? "If we go back in history in search of the beginning of classical music, Gregorian chant appears to be one of the most important sources."
http://www.exmusica.org/archives/120/the-influence-of-gregorian-chant
This then  brings up the related question as to what the Orthodox think about the Gregorian chant?
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« Reply #30 on: July 21, 2012, 01:13:09 AM »

Hi,

I am a finnish lutheran thinking of becoming an orthodox christian. Since I am a music school instrument teacher and active chamber musician, I would want to know what the orthodox think of classical music?

I read that after persecutions of christians in 4th century, many Church Fathers were against instrumental music but that nowadays for example St Seraphim of Platina and Elder Poryphorios have held classical music in high esteem. I guess there is not a single answer here and of course it depends on the music, but if someone could help me with this, I'd be happy. I have been thinking a lot that if classical music would be somehow sinful or bad for your soul since Church Fathers have been so much against it, but I guess it's because of music of 4th century was something totally different from music of our days and that it really depends on the music more than what instruments are being used.

And just to make sure, I'm not talking instrumental music in liturgy, only music as a job and as a career and as a pleasure.

Thank you all!



I am a musician myself and love orchestral music. Many of the great Russian composers of the 19th century; Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff and others actually composed music for liturgical services. Tchaikovsky uses one of our most beloved hymns O Lord Save Thy People in several pieces of music including his Symphony #2 and  1812 Overture. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote an entire piece based on the Paschal stichera and troparia. You may be familiar with the Great Russian Easter Overture. If you haven't heard it and for all of my Orthodox friends who may not be familiar with it here is a link. Being a brass player it's definitely one of my favorites.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lAV4I5-Fpc&feature=related

I've been trying for several years to get my orchestras to play that work, partly because, like you, I'm also a brass player (trombone). Grin (LOW BRASS KICKS ... well, let's not go there. Wink)

I've also played the 1812 Overture; of course, not sitting next to the cannons, or, in our performance, the bass drums. (I'm surprised the bass drummers didn't rip the heads of their drums by imitating the sound of the cannons.)
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« Reply #31 on: July 21, 2012, 03:13:05 AM »

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.

It's chants or GTFO

Your servant in Christ,
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« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2012, 03:25:22 AM »

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.

Monophysite! Is outrage!
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« Reply #33 on: July 21, 2012, 08:29:37 AM »

I put "classical" in quotation marks because it properly only refers to the music of about 1750-1800, particularly that of Mozart, F.J. Haydn, and their contemporaries in a certain segment of Europe.
I noticed that you say that classical music only refers to music from 1750 - 1800. I  thought that  the early symphonies  (1732-1739) of Giovanni Battista Sammartini which were modelled on the  introductory instrumental pieces of Baroque Italian opera, could be considered as reflecting a transition from the Baroque to the Classical period. And although the latter half of the eighteenth century is often mentioned as the beginning of the classical period, is it not true that some historians say that western classical music had its beginnings in the Gregorian chant of the Roman Catholic Church? "If we go back in history in search of the beginning of classical music, Gregorian chant appears to be one of the most important sources."
http://www.exmusica.org/archives/120/the-influence-of-gregorian-chant
This then  brings up the related question as to what the Orthodox think about the Gregorian chant?


Well, the distinction is a little fuzzier in reality but us musicologists like nice round numbers. The works of Sammartini can be described as style galant, which represents a gradual "leaning up" of the Baroque aesthetic into the neat, balanced phrases of the latter 18th century. Style galant was only in vogue for about 20-30 years, but it was hugely influential; JS Bach's composer sons called him the "old man" because of his more antiquated compositional aesthetic.

To be sure, western art music is indebted to the chant traditions of the RCC, and particularly to the development of those chant forms into organum and later polyphony. No historian will contest that. But as I said, musicologists like to call a very particular segment of music history the "classical era." If you're talking about Bach, you're talking Baroque music (not classical); if you're speaking of Palestrina you're talking of renaissance polyphony (not classical). For the general listener--and I think record stores are most to blame for this--all of that gets lumped under the heading "classical" as if it were one genre, but if you were to be browsing CDs and expect Schoenberg to sound like Schumann because of their alphabetical proximity on the shelf, you would be in for a surprise!

I do know several Orthodox Christians with a soft spot for Gregorian chant (which is only one of the prominent Western chant traditions among the other prominent streams: Ambrosian, Gallican, and Mozarabic). And there is the whole Western Rite thing, wherein such chant sources (I believe) as the Graduale Romanum and Liber Usualis are still in use. Lancelot Andrewes Press also has some plainchant resources for Western Rite parishes.
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« Reply #34 on: July 21, 2012, 11:03:59 AM »

I've heard of people who convert to Orthodoxy abandoning classical music just because it is Western and therefore to be discarded.  Of course, they won't part with the books they've grown up with or the TV shows they like; I don't know why classical music is given this treatment unless they think that because a lot of it was employed in the Western churches, it is somehow bad.  That kind of zealotry really needs to be stamped out in converts. You're not becoming an Orthodox monk (if you do, great and then you can worry about excising the whole classical music from your life).  But for now, enjoy the fruits of Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms and Dvorak.  They are part of what makes life great. I know I'm lost without my daily Beethoven!
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« Reply #35 on: July 23, 2012, 10:39:50 PM »

In fact on the contrary since some Orthodox theologians such as Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk seem to deem it as a sort of symbol of European Christian culture.

This (if you are reporting it correctly) is probably the most insipid thing I have heard from those two great, holy men.
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« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2012, 11:50:15 PM »

I read that after persecutions of christians in 4th century, many Church Fathers were against instrumental music but that nowadays for example St Seraphim of Platina and Elder Poryphorios have held classical music in high esteem. I guess there is not a single answer here and of course it depends on the music, but if someone could help me with this, I'd be happy. I have been thinking a lot that if classical music would be somehow sinful or bad for your soul since Church Fathers have been so much against it, but I guess it's because of music of 4th century was something totally different from music of our days and that it really depends on the music more than what instruments are being used.

If we were to follow the Fathers on the question of music, we would avoid that which affects the passions in a negative way and consider good that which has a positive effect on us. Classical music tends to be favoured above popular music because the latter tends to be of a less refined character, but this should not be considered a hard and fast rule. Many operas are vulgar in their content and I'm sure there are plenty of classical pieces the Fathers would have objected to. At the same time there are many examples of popular music that can be spiritually uplifting or which serves to convey a decidedly Christian message.
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« Reply #37 on: July 24, 2012, 02:05:08 PM »

Thank you all for your kind answers. You probably won't understand how much your answers have helped me. Somehow feels like coming home, hard to explain. Thank you all and may the good God bless you all.
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« Reply #38 on: July 24, 2012, 04:02:37 PM »

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, One God. Amen.

Monophysite! Is outrage!

Huh?
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« Reply #39 on: July 24, 2012, 04:18:38 PM »

In fact on the contrary since some Orthodox theologians such as Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina and Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokalamsk seem to deem it as a sort of symbol of European Christian culture.

This (if you are reporting it correctly) is probably the most insipid thing I have heard from those two great, holy men.

Well I can't guarantee that this is the thing that they said. From Metropolitan Hilarion I have read only one article where he spoke about his affection for Bach. From biography of Fr. Seraphim I remember that he recommended parents to use Classical Music in children's education. While most of it isn't originally Orthodox he seemed to deem it as so oozed in old Christian civilization in that extent that it can be used for warming one's heart for God.
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« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2012, 05:17:47 PM »

I enjoy classical music and actually play classical guitar...if anyone is interested:

http://www.youtube.com/user/frkyrillos/videos

God bless,
Fr. Kyrillos
Good to listen to.  Thank you Fr.
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« Reply #41 on: July 26, 2012, 08:23:06 AM »

From Photios Kontoglou:

"Music is of two kinds (as are the other arts also)—secular and ecclesiastical. Each of these has been developed by different feelings and different states of the soul. Secular music expresses worldly (i.e., carnal) feelings and desires. Although these feelings may be very refined (romantic, sentimental, idealistic, etc.), they do not cease being carnal. Nevertheless, many people believe that these feelings are spiritual. However, spiritual feelings are expressed only by ecclesiastical music. Only ecclesiastical music can truly express the secret movements of the heart, which are entirely different from those inspired and developed by secular music. That is, it expresses contrition, humility, suffering and godly grief, which, as Paul says, "worketh repentance to salvation." [2] Ecclesiastical music can also evoke feelings of praise, thanksgiving, and holy enthusiasm. Secular music, on the other hand—even the purest—expresses carnal emotions, even when it is inspired by suffering and affliction. This type of suffering, Paul calls "worldly grief," which "worketh death." [3]

Thus two kinds of music were formed, the secular, which arouses emotion—any kind of emotion—and ecclesiastical music, which evokes contrition. St. John Chrysostom strongly condemns the attempts that were made by some of his contemporaries to introduce into the Church secular music, the music of the theatre and the mime"


Continues here: http://stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Epilogue.htm
He wrote other things on art also.
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« Reply #42 on: July 26, 2012, 09:48:53 AM »

From Photios Kontoglou:

"Music is of two kinds (as are the other arts also)—secular and ecclesiastical. Each of these has been developed by different feelings and different states of the soul. Secular music expresses worldly (i.e., carnal) feelings and desires. Although these feelings may be very refined (romantic, sentimental, idealistic, etc.), they do not cease being carnal. Nevertheless, many people believe that these feelings are spiritual. However, spiritual feelings are expressed only by ecclesiastical music. Only ecclesiastical music can truly express the secret movements of the heart, which are entirely different from those inspired and developed by secular music. That is, it expresses contrition, humility, suffering and godly grief, which, as Paul says, "worketh repentance to salvation." [2] Ecclesiastical music can also evoke feelings of praise, thanksgiving, and holy enthusiasm. Secular music, on the other hand—even the purest—expresses carnal emotions, even when it is inspired by suffering and affliction. This type of suffering, Paul calls "worldly grief," which "worketh death." [3]

Thus two kinds of music were formed, the secular, which arouses emotion—any kind of emotion—and ecclesiastical music, which evokes contrition. St. John Chrysostom strongly condemns the attempts that were made by some of his contemporaries to introduce into the Church secular music, the music of the theatre and the mime"


Continues here: http://stanthonysmonastery.org/music/Epilogue.htm
He wrote other things on art also.
Okay. Undecided So what are you trying to say by this quote? Additionally, what authority does Photios Kontoglou bear that we need to take his thoughts seriously?
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« Reply #43 on: July 26, 2012, 09:49:28 AM »

Kontoglou's sharp division between secular and ecclesiastic art is wrong. Even St. John Klimakos disagrees: For lovers of God are moved to gladness, to divine love and to tears both by worldly and by spiritual songs; but lovers of pleasure to the opposite.
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« Reply #44 on: July 26, 2012, 12:31:42 PM »

Okay. Undecided So what are you trying to say by this quote? Additionally, what authority does Photios Kontoglou bear that we need to take his thoughts seriously?

From what I know, Photios is a very important Greek byzantine iconographer (artist).  I am trying to say exactly what he says, so you have two people who confess the same thing.
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« Reply #45 on: July 26, 2012, 12:34:37 PM »

Kontoglou's sharp division between secular and ecclesiastic art is wrong. Even St. John Klimakos disagrees: For lovers of God are moved to gladness, to divine love and to tears both by worldly and by spiritual songs; but lovers of pleasure to the opposite.

That you are moved by two different things is one thing; that you actually believe they are on the same level is another. And St. John does make the distinction between worldly and spiritual.
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« Reply #46 on: July 26, 2012, 12:40:46 PM »

Kontoglou's sharp division between secular and ecclesiastic art is wrong. Even St. John Klimakos disagrees: For lovers of God are moved to gladness, to divine love and to tears both by worldly and by spiritual songs; but lovers of pleasure to the opposite.

That you are moved by two different things is one thing; that you actually believe they are on the same level is another. And St. John does make the distinction between worldly and spiritual.

The distinction is not the same. It is one thing to say they are distinct and of different levels, and another to say that their purposes are completely separate. Kontoglou argues that secular art expresses (and, by implication, inspires) only carnal emotions. By his reasoning secular music could only inspire carnal love, not divine love as St. John says.
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« Reply #47 on: July 26, 2012, 11:18:43 PM »

The distinction is not the same. It is one thing to say they are distinct and of different levels, and another to say that their purposes are completely separate. Kontoglou argues that secular art expresses (and, by implication, inspires) only carnal emotions. By his reasoning secular music could only inspire carnal love, not divine love as St. John says.

I will just offer more quotes from The Fathers, and everybody can draw their own conclusions:

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 worshipping. 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)

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 Paul

Let 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

"Through psalmodizing 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

"Psalmody, long-suffering, and compassion stop the agitation of anger." - Evagrios the Monk
 
"Psalmody puts the passions to sleep and stills the intemperence of the body." - Saint Neilos the Ascetic
 
"Sometimes suitable psalmody extinguishes anger in a most successful manner." - Saint John Klimakos
 
"According to the Fathers, psalmody is a weapon against evil thoughts." - Saint John Klimakos
 
"God is peace, beyond all tumult and shouting.  Our hymns, accordingly, ought to be angelic, without tumult." - Saint Gregory of Sinai

"A noble horse, when it begins to run, becomes warmed up, and the more it runs the more it is wont to run.  Now by running I mean hymnody, and by the noble horse I mean the mind (nous), which sensing [spiritual] warfare from afar and being prepared [by means of hymnody], remains always invincible." - Saint John Klimakos
 
"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

"Byzantine melody, holding the very ancient tradition,...always proceeds on one line of sounds (monophonic) and does not employ a harmony in various tones (polyphonic), as is done in the case of European music.  Hence, even when many chant together, they chant exactly the same sounds - there are not different lines of melody, with different tones." - D. G. Panagiotopoulos

"Byzantine Music may or may not be the music of the ancient Greeks, but it is all we know and all that exists from the ancients.  For us, however, if it is not the music of the Greeks then it is the music of the angels."  - Alexandros Papadiamandis
 

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« Reply #48 on: July 27, 2012, 12:25:37 AM »

The distinction is not the same. It is one thing to say they are distinct and of different levels, and another to say that their purposes are completely separate. Kontoglou argues that secular art expresses (and, by implication, inspires) only carnal emotions. By his reasoning secular music could only inspire carnal love, not divine love as St. John says.

I will just offer more quotes from The Fathers, and everybody can draw their own conclusions:

...
A few notes on your selections from the Fathers:
1. Most of these passages focus on the use of instrumental music in church. Recognizing our practice of not using instruments in church, however, the OP asked us specifically to focus our comments on the value of instrumental music outside of church. Very little of what you shared with us addresses that subject.
2. What little you shared that does address music outside of church speaks specifically of vocal music (i.e. singing, specifically of Psalms), the value of which no one is questioning. You haven't shared anything, though, that speaks badly of instrumental music outside of church.
3. The third-to-last quote you presented (from George Papadopoulos), the one that can be interpreted as speaking most clearly against instrumental music in or out of church, is merely a summary of patristic teachings made by a man whom we don't even consider a Father in and of himself. Therefore, I would counsel you and everyone else here to take his comment with a large teaspoon of salt, for he has not the same authority as the Fathers.
4. The last two quotes are merely comments on Byzantine music, the former a musicological analysis and the latter a statement of one's personal love for Byzantine music. There's nothing at all patristic in these two quotes.

In the end, I have to conclude that nothing you've presented from the Fathers condemns the use and enjoyment of instrumental music outside of church, the subject the OP wants us to discuss.
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« Reply #49 on: July 27, 2012, 01:13:19 AM »

The distinction is not the same. It is one thing to say they are distinct and of different levels, and another to say that their purposes are completely separate. Kontoglou argues that secular art expresses (and, by implication, inspires) only carnal emotions. By his reasoning secular music could only inspire carnal love, not divine love as St. John says.

I will just offer more quotes from The Fathers, and everybody can draw their own conclusions:

...
A few notes on your selections from the Fathers:
1. Most of these passages focus on the use of instrumental music in church. Recognizing our practice of not using instruments in church, however, the OP asked us specifically to focus our comments on the value of instrumental music outside of church. Very little of what you shared with us addresses that subject.
2. What little you shared that does address music outside of church speaks specifically of vocal music (i.e. singing, specifically of Psalms), the value of which no one is questioning. You haven't shared anything, though, that speaks badly of instrumental music outside of church.
3. The third-to-last quote you presented (from George Papadopoulos), the one that can be interpreted as speaking most clearly against instrumental music in or out of church, is merely a summary of patristic teachings made by a man whom we don't even consider a Father in and of himself. Therefore, I would counsel you and everyone else here to take his comment with a large teaspoon of salt, for he has not the same authority as the Fathers.
4. The last two quotes are merely comments on Byzantine music, the former a musicological analysis and the latter a statement of one's personal love for Byzantine music. There's nothing at all patristic in these two quotes.

In the end, I have to conclude that nothing you've presented from the Fathers condemns the use and enjoyment of instrumental music outside of church, the subject the OP wants us to discuss.


But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?
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« Reply #50 on: July 27, 2012, 01:16:45 AM »

The distinction is not the same. It is one thing to say they are distinct and of different levels, and another to say that their purposes are completely separate. Kontoglou argues that secular art expresses (and, by implication, inspires) only carnal emotions. By his reasoning secular music could only inspire carnal love, not divine love as St. John says.

I will just offer more quotes from The Fathers, and everybody can draw their own conclusions:

...
A few notes on your selections from the Fathers:
1. Most of these passages focus on the use of instrumental music in church. Recognizing our practice of not using instruments in church, however, the OP asked us specifically to focus our comments on the value of instrumental music outside of church. Very little of what you shared with us addresses that subject.
2. What little you shared that does address music outside of church speaks specifically of vocal music (i.e. singing, specifically of Psalms), the value of which no one is questioning. You haven't shared anything, though, that speaks badly of instrumental music outside of church.
3. The third-to-last quote you presented (from George Papadopoulos), the one that can be interpreted as speaking most clearly against instrumental music in or out of church, is merely a summary of patristic teachings made by a man whom we don't even consider a Father in and of himself. Therefore, I would counsel you and everyone else here to take his comment with a large teaspoon of salt, for he has not the same authority as the Fathers.
4. The last two quotes are merely comments on Byzantine music, the former a musicological analysis and the latter a statement of one's personal love for Byzantine music. There's nothing at all patristic in these two quotes.

In the end, I have to conclude that nothing you've presented from the Fathers condemns the use and enjoyment of instrumental music outside of church, the subject the OP wants us to discuss.


But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?
I didn't say, "outside THE Church". I said, "outside of church", which most people here understand to mean "outside the communal worship of the local church" (i.e., at home, at work, in our day-to-day lives, etc.). I have no idea what you're talking about now.
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« Reply #51 on: July 27, 2012, 01:20:55 AM »

Honestly I don't like alot of classical music. Stravinsky I do find a kinship in. Of course Beethoven is brilliant. Maybe I do like it but haven't given it much thought.

Now back to listening to the Sex Pistols.
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« Reply #52 on: July 27, 2012, 01:28:08 AM »

I didn't say, "outside THE Church". I said, "outside of church", which most people here understand to mean "outside the communal worship of the local church" (i.e., at home, at work, in our day-to-day lives, etc.). I have no idea what you're talking about now.

Outside of Church, same thing. 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 wordliness? Up to each one of us, but to me it defeats the purpose of calling The Church  -- The Ark of Salvation, or having a Holy Tradition that we preserve and even die for; Or, God offers you His Joy, and you go back and seek  pleasures.
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« Reply #53 on: July 27, 2012, 01:31:58 AM »

The distinction is not the same. It is one thing to say they are distinct and of different levels, and another to say that their purposes are completely separate. Kontoglou argues that secular art expresses (and, by implication, inspires) only carnal emotions. By his reasoning secular music could only inspire carnal love, not divine love as St. John says.

I will just offer more quotes from The Fathers, and everybody can draw their own conclusions:

...
A few notes on your selections from the Fathers:
1. Most of these passages focus on the use of instrumental music in church. Recognizing our practice of not using instruments in church, however, the OP asked us specifically to focus our comments on the value of instrumental music outside of church. Very little of what you shared with us addresses that subject.
2. What little you shared that does address music outside of church speaks specifically of vocal music (i.e. singing, specifically of Psalms), the value of which no one is questioning. You haven't shared anything, though, that speaks badly of instrumental music outside of church.
3. The third-to-last quote you presented (from George Papadopoulos), the one that can be interpreted as speaking most clearly against instrumental music in or out of church, is merely a summary of patristic teachings made by a man whom we don't even consider a Father in and of himself. Therefore, I would counsel you and everyone else here to take his comment with a large teaspoon of salt, for he has not the same authority as the Fathers.
4. The last two quotes are merely comments on Byzantine music, the former a musicological analysis and the latter a statement of one's personal love for Byzantine music. There's nothing at all patristic in these two quotes.

In the end, I have to conclude that nothing you've presented from the Fathers condemns the use and enjoyment of instrumental music outside of church, the subject the OP wants us to discuss.


But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?

forgive me for this example, but I do not sing lullabies to the kids in Church, nor do I sing the national anthem in Church, nor do I read my history books or books by Dostoyevsky in Church, you understand where I am getting at right? I think that is what Peter is referring to, if I write a poem about the beauty of a green field for instance, does it mean I will can not appreciate it without risking being divided, unless it is in a liturgical music of the church?

I agree with you as we all agree, that we must remain one person in our life in and outside the church services,  we must avoid that which separates us from Christ and causes us to sin. the question then becomes what are those activities that we might not practice as part of the church services however still can use to appreciate the beauty of the created world and our creative potential to glorify God in our day to day life.

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« Reply #54 on: July 27, 2012, 01:54:16 AM »

I didn't say, "outside THE Church". I said, "outside of church", which most people here understand to mean "outside the communal worship of the local church" (i.e., at home, at work, in our day-to-day lives, etc.). I have no idea what you're talking about now.

Outside of Church, same thing. What you do in Church should define what you do outside.
Of course it does. I just don't think we agree on what that means. I, for one, don't take this to mean that I should constantly be singing the doxology at work the same way we sing it in church; rather, I see this as an exhortation to make even my work a doxology in and of itself. It's not possible for me to punctuate my work with the seven or so liturgical prayers that are prescribed in our daily cycle of prayer, but I can make my work a prayer. Likewise, I don't see what you say as an exhortation to listen to nothing but church music while I'm at home, at work, on the road, etc.

The Church is the Tradition of Heaven. What, you deify yourself in Church, just so you can delve right back into wordiness?
Yes, my posts do tend to be exercises in wordiness, but I understand what you're saying (I think). Wink Why such the strict dichotomy between churchliness and "worldliness", though? Is the Holy Spirit not capable of transforming something "worldly" and using it as a means to lift our hearts toward heaven?

Up to each one of us, but to me it defeats the purpose of calling The Church  -- The Ark of Salvation, or having a Holy Tradition that we preserve and even die for; Or, God offers you His Joy, and you go back and seek  pleasures.
But who, other than you and those whose writings you have cherry picked for this discussion, is saying that listening to classical music is purely an exercise in seeking carnal pleasure?

Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.  ~ Philippians 4:8

Who says that these good and honorable things can only be found in the communal worship of our local churches? Who says that it's impossible for such excellence to be found in classical, instrumental music?
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« Reply #55 on: July 27, 2012, 02:34:23 AM »

It is not a dichotomy. Photios didn't say secular music is evil in itself (well, it can be). It's not a matter of which is better, but which is higher, closer to God. So, different levels of the evolution of the soul. And by the way, why exactly do you question the authority of a very well respected iconographer who also endured the test of time? But, if you want to argue with him, I can't stop you. Here is another quote from Mystic Zion:

"Byzantine art (techni) is for me the art of arts. I believe in it as I do religion. I do not deny this, but it even gives me great pleasure when, most of the time, someone uses it as an accusation. Only this art nurtures my soul with its deep and mysterious powers, it quenches the thirst which I feel in the dry desert which surrounds us. Next to Byzantine Art, all other art seems to me light, “distracted by many things,” while only “one thing is needful.” That one thing, when it is perceived by someone, it is understood.

Many times I question myself how man was made worthy by divine grace to reach the unteachable, to express the inexpressible, and to express it with means so practical and simple: neither vain wisdom, neither foresight, neither false transcendence with soft delicateness, neither sentimentalism, theatrical and meaningless. Everything is serious, contemplative enough, mystical worlds revealed under phenomenal worthlessness and simpleness. A trigger descends to the depths of the oceans of the soul and, at the moment when most think it cannot descend another fathom, it reaches a world no one can measure. “Let no profane hand touch” (Canon of the Feast of the Annunciation; Ninth Ode, First Troparion.) Whoever does not understand that mysterious language “setting aside all worldly cares,” will not understand even till the end of his life. The root of his soul will remain dry of the dew of heaven.

The sweetness of this art is apocalyptic. Men who have need of triviality, cannot find anything other than—would be—rational comments, about crooked feet, unnatural bodies and the such, but how can its deep human content, which is the holy of holies, be weighed with such means? And when they praise it, then they say the worst, idiotic comments, generalities."


http://www.psalticnotes.com/articles/zion/zion.html
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« Reply #56 on: July 27, 2012, 09:58:53 AM »

It is not a dichotomy. Photios didn't say secular music is evil in itself (well, it can be). It's not a matter of which is better, but which is higher, closer to God. So, different levels of the evolution of the soul. And by the way, why exactly do you question the authority of a very well respected iconographer who also endured the test of time?
Well respected... by whom? Endured the test of time... He died not even 50 years ago, and I suppose very few people have heard of him, compared to how many venerate the memory of a contemporary who died only one year later: St. John Maximovitch. (I know I'd never heard of Photios Kontoglou until today.) I'm not sure, then, why you grant Mr. Kontoglou so much authority.

BTW, you evidently don't understand what a dichotomy is. A dichotomy isn't a declaration that something is evil. A dichotomy is rather a division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups--in this case, the two mutually exclusive and (IYO) opposite groups "church music" vs. "secular music".

But, if you want to argue with him, I can't stop you.
Yes, I do argue with him, especially considering that his dichotomy between "church music" and "secular music" and his assertion that secular music is incapable of expressing spiritual feelings are just flat wrong.
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« Reply #57 on: July 27, 2012, 10:57:00 AM »

It is not a dichotomy. Photios didn't say secular music is evil in itself (well, it can be). It's not a matter of which is better, but which is higher, closer to God. So, different levels of the evolution of the soul. And by the way, why exactly do you question the authority of a very well respected iconographer who also endured the test of time?
Well respected... by whom? Endured the test of time... He died not even 50 years ago, and I suppose very few people have heard of him, compared to how many venerate the memory of a contemporary who died only one year later: St. John Maximovitch. (I know I'd never heard of Photios Kontoglou until today.) I'm not sure, then, why you grant Mr. Kontoglou so much authority.

BTW, you evidently don't understand what a dichotomy is. A dichotomy isn't a declaration that something is evil. A dichotomy is rather a division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups--in this case, the two mutually exclusive and (IYO) opposite groups "church music" vs. "secular music".

But, if you want to argue with him, I can't stop you.
Yes, I do argue with him, especially considering that his dichotomy between "church music" and "secular music" and his assertion that secular music is incapable of expressing spiritual feelings are just flat wrong.

What secular music evokes spiritual feelings? Give an example.
I totally agree with him; secular music cannot evoke spiritual feelings because it doesn't even know what they are. Do you know? You have to be a purified and deified Saint to be an authority. All Saints have driven Church Tradition into what we know as Byzantine art (which by the way is quite complex and big).  Why would God offer such an inheritance with such clear directions?
The reason it's hard to find quotes from Saints that talk about secular music is that they were too busy with what they were doing rather than what they were not doing (it's not easy to follow what the whole world is doing either). Not saying secular music is not beautiful on its own level, that man is not honestly seeking something high. It's not really a dichotomy, it's something interesting, I believe. The thing is byzantine music contains a lot of elements that secular music does, but on a higher, transcended, more refined level. It's really sad, if one listens to Byz music and doesn't realize that those are God's own masterpieces. Many Saints and Elders have talked about the subject, if one is interested there's stuff out there.
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« Reply #58 on: July 27, 2012, 12:43:21 PM »

It is not a dichotomy. Photios didn't say secular music is evil in itself (well, it can be). It's not a matter of which is better, but which is higher, closer to God. So, different levels of the evolution of the soul. And by the way, why exactly do you question the authority of a very well respected iconographer who also endured the test of time?
Well respected... by whom? Endured the test of time... He died not even 50 years ago, and I suppose very few people have heard of him, compared to how many venerate the memory of a contemporary who died only one year later: St. John Maximovitch. (I know I'd never heard of Photios Kontoglou until today.) I'm not sure, then, why you grant Mr. Kontoglou so much authority.

BTW, you evidently don't understand what a dichotomy is. A dichotomy isn't a declaration that something is evil. A dichotomy is rather a division into two mutually exclusive, opposed, or contradictory groups--in this case, the two mutually exclusive and (IYO) opposite groups "church music" vs. "secular music".

But, if you want to argue with him, I can't stop you.
Yes, I do argue with him, especially considering that his dichotomy between "church music" and "secular music" and his assertion that secular music is incapable of expressing spiritual feelings are just flat wrong.

What secular music evokes spiritual feelings? Give an example.
You ever listen to J. S. Bach's St. Matthew Passion?
 
I totally agree with him; secular music cannot evoke spiritual feelings because it doesn't even know what they are. Do you know? You have to be a purified and deified Saint to be an authority.
Then Photios Kontoglou must be a purified and deified saint, since you quote him as an authority on this subject.

All Saints have driven Church Tradition into what we know as Byzantine art (which by the way is quite complex and big).
I guess that rules out the whole Slavic tradition of liturgical music and iconography that developed in the second milennium, together with all the saints Russia and the Slavic lands have produced.

Why would God offer such an inheritance with such clear directions?
I don't know. I'm still hoping you'll make this clear to me.

The reason it's hard to find quotes from Saints that talk about secular music is that they were too busy with what they were doing rather than what they were not doing (it's not easy to follow what the whole world is doing either).
Au contraire! Many of our greatest teacher saints were very well versed in the "worldly" arts and were not afraid to use them as a means of communicating the Gospel and high theology.

Not saying secular music is not beautiful on its own level, that man is not honestly seeking something high. It's not really a dichotomy, it's something interesting, I believe. The thing is byzantine music contains a lot of elements that secular music does, but on a higher, transcended, more refined level. It's really sad, if one listens to Byz music and doesn't realize that those are God's own masterpieces. Many Saints and Elders have talked about the subject, if one is interested there's stuff out there.
I'm not saying anything bad about Byzantine music. In fact, I like it for the very reasons you state. Your love for Byzantine music isn't being argued or disparaged here. What is being argued here, once again, is your assertion that "secular" classical music has no place in the life of the Orthodox Christian.
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« Reply #59 on: July 28, 2012, 12:15:31 AM »

--That piece by Bach is sentimental, carnal.
--Photios must be a Saint if he is such an authority, but I was referring to the Saints who were teaching us to approach God through psalmody (of whom many I quoted). But you have not listed any spiritual feelings.
--Don't know what Slavic tradition you mean, but if it is the choral stuff that is made up (not inspired) according to secular influences, then it is not the actual music of The Church, but a vainglorious innovation.
--Not sure what is not clear to you, that byz music is our Tradition, and that Tradition is the life of the Church, not just in the church building, but always?
--Just because saints were versed in worldly affairs, doesn't mean they didn't leave worldliness behind, and I don't think you can find any saint who produced a secular piece of art (after becoming a saint, not earlier in his life, or during his purification).
--Not saying secular music has no place in the life of a Christian, just that it loses its value as one sees the riches of the music of the Church. Just like a child, when he grows up, he doesn't want to turn back into a child; childhood seems too simple and mundane for him, not that he hates it. With me, as with Photios, I find that secular music is coarse, heavy and unsuitable to the most fine, fragile, movements of the heart, there's a lot of death in it, just like Apostle Paul was saying -- it evokes feelings of worldly grief, even though it may not seem to, whereas byz music always evokes hope even when Christ dies on the Cross. That's another thing about byz music--it is music of the heart, of pure love, whereas secular appeals mostly to the mind, the senses and the appetites.
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« Reply #60 on: July 28, 2012, 01:09:33 AM »

--That piece by Bach is sentimental, carnal.
You're willing to elevate your personal opinion to the level of absolute truth? Huh By what absolute standards are you able to judge Bach's work sentimental and carnal?

--Photios must be a Saint if he is such an authority, but I was referring to the Saints who were teaching us to approach God through psalmody (of whom many I quoted). But you have not listed any spiritual feelings.
None of the patristic quotes you cited teach us to approach God solely through Psalmody. None of the patristic quotes you cited teach us that we should spend so much of our time listening to Byzantine chant that we have no time for listening to anything else. Please do try to keep on topic.

--Don't know what Slavic tradition you mean, but if it is the choral stuff that is made up (not inspired) according to secular influences, then it is not the actual music of The Church, but a vainglorious innovation.
Again, your personal judgment, and one for which you have provided no patristic evidence.

--Not sure what is not clear to you, that byz music is our Tradition, and that Tradition is the life of the Church, not just in the church building, but always?
Byzantine music is NOT our sole musical tradition, and I challenge you to give us patristic evidence that it is.

--Just because saints were versed in worldly affairs, doesn't mean they didn't leave worldliness behind, and I don't think you can find any saint who produced a secular piece of art (after becoming a saint, not earlier in his life, or during his purification).
Okay. So what? Care to prove yourself right? (You do know that what you say flies right in the face of our early patristic tradition of using Greek philosophy as a way to articulate the Gospel, a tradition that started with St. Paul's preaching and with St. John the Theologian's identification of Christ with the Logos in the first chapter of his Gospel, was developed by St. Justin Martyr, and culminated with the first four ecumenical councils and their developments of such concepts as hypastasis, ousios, and homoousios?)

BTW, it's easy to argue that no saint ever produced a secular piece of art after becoming a saint. All you have to do is call everything he produced sacred by mere virtue of the fact that it was a saint who produced it. That, however, is a logical fallacy that many here will see right through and call BS.

--Not saying secular music has no place in the life of a Christian, just that it loses its value as one sees the riches of the music of the Church.
But that's not the point of this thread.

Just like a child, when he grows up, he doesn't want to turn back into a child; childhood seems too simple and mundane for him, not that he hates it. With me, as with Photios, I find that secular music is coarse, heavy and unsuitable to the most fine, fragile, movements of the heart, there's a lot of death in it,
Okay, if you feel that way, then don't listen to classical music. No one's forcing you to do so, especially since we recognize that each person has his own taste in music and his own reasons for those tastes.

just like Apostle Paul was saying -- it evokes feelings of worldly grief, even though it may not seem to, whereas byz music always evokes hope even when Christ dies on the Cross.
That's a purely subjective statement with which many here will disagree. Just take personal ownership of your subjective opinions and stop trying to elevate them to the level of dogma.

That's another thing about byz music--it is music of the heart, of pure love, whereas secular appeals mostly to the mind, the senses and the appetites.
Prove it.
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« Reply #61 on: July 28, 2012, 01:49:41 AM »


well said Peter Grin


my Dear Ioanc, if Bach is too sentimental for you,or carnal, do not read the song of Songs lol you will be scandalised. lol

thats all I am gonna say except perhaps add this...

<< Psalm 150 >>
King James Version   

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
 
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« Reply #62 on: July 28, 2012, 02:58:14 AM »

I like many secular/non-religious songs and artists. You can't tell me that no Russian Orthodox person ever listened to Vysotsky or Bulat Okudzhava, or that Syriacs can't also enjoy the folk repertoire of Jalil Maiilo (who was also a priest). And even if none of them enjoy such (or will admit it), they don't have to, because I do. Whatever happened to "the sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath"? Are we really going to argue amongst ourselves about such petty issues? I could understand it if the songs were spiritually harmful (and, I dunno...maybe some people will now come up with some texts that prove all the artists I just listed are irrevocably damned to hell), but for classical music or traditional folk music, is there some problem with it just because it's not always written or performed by church people, even though it clearly wasn't made in that context to begin with?

I guess I do not understand this mentality that says that every form of art that is made outside of the strict confines of the church is bad, especially considering how we often extol our forefathers for showing the true missionary zeal and genius to adapt those features of the cultures they preached to for heavenly ends, e.g., the discussion that goes on in Coptic circles about the various pre-Christian origins of the Coptic melodies. Clearly if the theories that say that those melodies came from ancient pagan rites are true, then their adapters didn't have this "eww, it's not from the Church, run away from it!" idea that is sometimes popular now. And especially now that our modes of worship are relatively set (i.e., we know what is appropriate for a hymn, both musically and textually), shouldn't we, if we care so much for Church, want to keep certain music to enjoy outside of the Church? I mean, I love Lebanese dabke (the giant mustaches really add to the awesomeness), but I don't want to hear it in church. Ever. At all. I don't even want to hear it around church. But that doesn't mean that I don't thoroughly enjoy it. What's the problem with that?
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« Reply #63 on: July 28, 2012, 03:37:44 AM »

I will end this discussion here. Peter, you have not even read the quotes from The Fathers. They all talk about no longer using the ways of this world, and the new way of worshiping God. I am surprised you don't know that our Tradition is Byzantine and has been developing for 2000 years. Maybe you should visit an authentic monastery, or see what they are doing on Mount Athos and why they renounced the world. If you are happy with the cliche, "in the world we cannot live as monks", it's true, but you still have to leave the world behind while you fulfill your duties to the world (in a Christian manner).

I did not steer this thread off topic!  The author was wondering about the difference between classical (which falls under secular) and why The Fathers seemed to talk against it. Well, I offered various quotes from The Fathers and Photios. It's not so much that they are against worldly music, but that they have been instructed by God to a new way of life which also is not compatible with secular influences. Peter, again, you are trying to over-impose your own beliefs, but you have not offered anything of substance in the name of Orthodoxy. I, on the other hand, am trying to confess the Faith, and do so with fear, knowing that this can influence what people believe about God and His Church.

For those interested in Byzantine Music, they can watch this video, and they will see that, at least, I am not alone in my beliefs, if quotes from Fathers and the testimony of our Tradition is not enough: http://youtu.be/ORaox7klCrM


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« Reply #64 on: July 28, 2012, 03:43:10 AM »


well said Peter Grin


my Dear Ioanc, if Bach is too sentimental for you,or carnal, do not read the song of Songs lol you will be scandalised. lol

thats all I am gonna say except perhaps add this...

<< Psalm 150 >>
King James Version  

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power.
2Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness.

3Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp.

4Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.

5Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.

6Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.
 


Hiwot, are you speaking in the name of Orthodoxy or your Ethiopian Church. No offense, but it makes a ton of difference.
The quotes form The Fathers that I posted, do say that the way of The Old Testament (psalm you quoted) is no longer in effect. The Kingdom of Heaven is a higher reality (even than The Garden of Eden), and it is only accomplished through union with Christ in The Holy Spirit. That's why Orthodoxy may seem strange; it is indeed not something that man alone can reach by use of his mind or powers. God's own Grace is necessary to be lifted up to such an understanding. People who do not believe in Orthodoxy as The Way of life have not understood the true meaning of our relationship with God; they still cling to the way of the world without realizing that they fall under the spell of fear, selfish desire, sentimentalism, idolatry, etc.
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« Reply #65 on: July 28, 2012, 08:59:24 AM »

I must say that in a way I agree with IoanC and in a way I don't.

It is the same thing that when we "eat and drink" eucharist, it is different than when we eat our normal food. Those things that have been created by God such as music can work as good things by themselves. But they are not holy or spiritual in the same way as liturgical music is. Both are good. Otherwise we have dualistic world-view which is against the whole main point of christianity. But I must also say that we as christians, should be always aiming as much as we can for the spiritual world and as Seraphim of Platina has said, we can use also the "secular" for our benefit as christians. Both are good gifts from our God. As the Fathers quoted many "secular" philosophists and poetry, as well we can use music to support our spiritual life.

As St Paul said "The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."

There is no law against music that brings us love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control and at the same time we must always be "worried" about our spiritual life and not let any "wordly" pleasures take the place of God and Spirit in us.

I'm sorry if this topic is making us fight against each other, I don't feel that it is worth such a worldly, fleshly thing.

God bless us all.
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« Reply #66 on: July 28, 2012, 11:11:17 AM »


It is the same thing that when we "eat and drink" eucharist, it is different than when we eat our normal food. Those things that have been created by God such as music can work as good things by themselves. But they are not holy or spiritual in the same way as liturgical music is. Both are good.


Perhaps, you have not had a chance to read all my posts, but I have addressed this. There is no conflict, and God forbid we fight over something like this. You are not forbidden to listen to secular music; and it doesn't mean that man is not seeking beauty and spirituality in it.
But, if you want to compare, byzantine music transcends secular music, it is indeed a new Way, just like The New Testament is the entrance into The Kingdom of Heaven (beyond The Garden of Eden). Also, byzantine music contains all the elements secular music does, but in a more refined way that one cannot imagine; it is a Mystery that God has to lead us into. So, while I understand while some may be offended, it also has to be told that the way God sees things is often very different than what we are used to in this fallen world.  
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« Reply #67 on: July 28, 2012, 01:42:54 PM »

I will end this discussion here. Peter, you have not even read the quotes from The Fathers. They all talk about no longer using the ways of this world, and the new way of worshiping God.
Yes, I have read them, every one of them, and quite thoroughly. They just don't say what you think they say.

I am surprised you don't know that our Tradition is Byzantine and has been developing for 2000 years.
I am aware that you say our Tradition is Byzantine, but I cannot agree with what you say, since doing so would invalidate the Tradition as it developed in Slavic Orthodoxy. BTW, I asked for patristic evidence to support your claim that our Tradition is Byzantine; so far, you have not fulfilled my request.

Maybe you should visit an authentic monastery, or see what they are doing on Mount Athos and why they renounced the world. If you are happy with the cliche, "in the world we cannot live as monks", it's true, but you still have to leave the world behind while you fulfill your duties to the world (in a Christian manner).

I did not steer this thread off topic!  The author was wondering about the difference between classical (which falls under secular) and why The Fathers seemed to talk against it. Well, I offered various quotes from The Fathers and Photios. It's not so much that they are against worldly music, but that they have been instructed by God to a new way of life which also is not compatible with secular influences. Peter, again, you are trying to over-impose your own beliefs, but you have not offered anything of substance in the name of Orthodoxy. I, on the other hand, am trying to confess the Faith, and do so with fear, knowing that this can influence what people believe about God and His Church.

For those interested in Byzantine Music, they can watch this video, and they will see that, at least, I am not alone in my beliefs, if quotes from Fathers and the testimony of our Tradition is not enough: http://youtu.be/ORaox7klCrM
Again, since nothing you quoted from the Fathers supports your implication that we should listen only to Byzantine liturgical music through the course of our daily lives, I can only conclude that it's merely your opinions you are trying to exalt to the level of dogma.
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« Reply #68 on: July 28, 2012, 02:52:41 PM »

--Don't know what Slavic tradition you mean, but if it is the choral stuff that is made up (not inspired) according to secular influences, then it is not the actual music of The Church, but a vainglorious innovation.
Are you familiar with the tradition of Znamenny chant that was born and developed in ancient Russia before the Westernization mandated by Tsar Peter the [not so] Great? This chant tradition is very similar to the Byzantine tradition from which it inherited many elements, particular its use of a melismatic melody on top of an underlying ison. Here is a good place to start your study of the ancient body of Znamenny chant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Znamenny_chant (Personally, I do prefer this Znamenny Chant over much of the four-part Imperial Court Chant that was introduced into Russian Orthodox worship during the time of the Romanov Dynasty, the choral stuff you call a vainglorious imitation of secular music.)
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« Reply #69 on: July 28, 2012, 02:58:34 PM »

BTW, even though Fr. Seraphim of Platina rarely ever listened to classical music during his years as a monk, he advocated the use of classical music in the formation of children and youths, recognizing how important classical music was to his own pre-monastic formation.
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« Reply #70 on: July 29, 2012, 01:38:42 AM »

BTW, even though Fr. Seraphim of Platina rarely ever listened to classical music during his years as a monk, he advocated the use of classical music in the formation of children and youths, recognizing how important classical music was to his own pre-monastic formation.

Fr. Seraphim said it was better to listen to classical music rather than other styles in the formation of children, but not that it is necessary.  However, it is clear that towards the end of his life he gave up classical music in favor of "the music of Heaven" (what would that be? we can all wonder).

Regarding your other post, I had already said that it is not a sin to listen to secular music. I don't know how you understood that I am commanding people to only listen to byzantine.  For this reason, I want to end the discussion, and for the fact that, in my view, you are not discussing on a decent enough level -- you do understand (or don't want to) what The Fathers are saying in those quotes, you are not presenting anything other than your own views, you do not believe that it can be proven that our Tradition is only Byzantine (what, you don't even know that ?!), you keep talking about various trends/innovations that may or may not be Orthodox, and you argue against myself,  Photios and The Fathers. I have not argued, I have only presented, and you jumped on me. If you want to argue against Photios, what are you credentials and how long have you been accepted by The Church for your work for Her? He may not be a glorified Saint, but people are going to trust in what he says 10 times more than what you have to say...
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« Reply #71 on: July 29, 2012, 10:59:49 AM »

BTW, even though Fr. Seraphim of Platina rarely ever listened to classical music during his years as a monk, he advocated the use of classical music in the formation of children and youths, recognizing how important classical music was to his own pre-monastic formation.

Fr. Seraphim said it was better to listen to classical music rather than other styles in the formation of children, but not that it is necessary.  However, it is clear that towards the end of his life he gave up classical music in favor of "the music of Heaven" (what would that be? we can all wonder).
Of course he did! He was a monk. You and I are not monks--at least I know I'm not a monk, I don't know about you. As non-monastics, we're not required to give up the good things we find in the world.

Regarding your other post, I had already said that it is not a sin to listen to secular music. I don't know how you understood that I am commanding people to only listen to byzantine.
Implications... You say
  • Secular music arouses carnal emotions, while church music arouses spiritual emotions.
  • "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?
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« Reply #72 on: July 29, 2012, 11:50:27 AM »

    • "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 Paul

    Let 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

    "Through psalmodizing 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


    [/list]
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    « Reply #73 on: July 29, 2012, 04:59:22 PM »

    • "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.
    If you think that the call to detach ourselves from the things of this world requires a complete separation from and disdain for "secular" culture, then go ahead and separate yourself from the world and live your life as a monk. Most of us, however, are not called to do that and can still draw some benefit from listening to "secular" music. Does "secular" music communicate as well our spiritual desire for God, our contrition and repentance, as does church music? Probably not. I've never argued that it does. However, except for those of us who have separated themselves from the world to pursue the angelic life of the monastery, we live in the world and are exposed to the products of its culture daily, for better or for worse. Since we don't spend every hour of every day in church, we often have to glean whatever good we can find in secular culture and cling to that as much as we can between church services. And yes, though it can only do so imperfectly, as compared to the perfect expression of church music, "secular" music is capable of expressing the same deeper spiritual emotions that church music expresses. I don't need to read those Fathers or modern day saints who support me to know this, for I know this from personal experience.

    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?
    Have you read what I posted about Znamenny Chant?

    I also wonder how extensively Byzantine Chant,  in its own development, drew upon the music of the secular culture surrounding the Church. I'd be willing to bet it did so a lot more than you would like to think. The Church did not grow up in a vacuum.

    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.
    Never said it is true. My concern has never been that you exalt Byzantine music (or church music in general) to a level higher than that of "secular" music, since I do the same myself. My concern has always been that you see no room for any other kind of music in the daily life of the non-monastic Orthodox Christian.

    The world is simply not on the same level with Orthodoxy, no matter how close or refined it may try to be.
    Of course not, but the world is not totally devoid of truth, either.

    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 --
    Merely repeating the same patristic quotes you posted before, this time with all the fancy colors to highlight what YOU want us to see in them, is not going to change the fact that they just don't support your argument that Byzantine music is of such power and truth that we should listen to nothing else.
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    « Reply #74 on: July 29, 2012, 11:03:57 PM »

    Peter, again you are accusing me of things I have not said. You are saying "fancy colors", but that's just an excuse for you to block out what I was saying. Why don't you take those quotes that I highlighted and give us your understanding of them?
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    « Reply #75 on: July 30, 2012, 12:21:26 AM »

    Peter, again you are accusing me of things I have not said.
    I'm not accusing you of saying anything you haven't stated explicitly in any of your posts. I am merely calling attention to the logical implications of what you have said. Again, refer back to the analysis of your statements I posted in Reply #71.

    To recap that post, let me expand upon it a bit. You have said the following things in the following replies:

    From Reply #41:
    From Photios Kontoglou:

    "Music is of two kinds (as are the other arts also)—secular and ecclesiastical. ... Secular music expresses worldly (i.e., carnal) feelings and desires. ... However, spiritual feelings are expressed only by ecclesiastical music. ... Ecclesiastical music can also evoke feelings of praise, thanksgiving, and holy enthusiasm. Secular music, on the other hand—even the purest—expresses carnal emotions, even when it is inspired by suffering and affliction. This type of suffering, Paul calls "worldly grief," which "worketh death." [3]

    Thus two kinds of music were formed, the secular, which arouses emotion—any kind of emotion—and ecclesiastical music, which evokes contrition. ...


    From Reply #52:
    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 wordliness? Up to each one of us, but to me it defeats the purpose of calling The Church  -- The Ark of Salvation, or having a Holy Tradition that we preserve and even die for; Or, God offers you His Joy, and you go back and seek  pleasures.

    From Reply #59:
    Not saying secular music has no place in the life of a Christian, just that it loses its value as one sees the riches of the music of the Church. Just like a child, when he grows up, he doesn't want to turn back into a child; childhood seems too simple and mundane for him, not that he hates it. With me, as with Photios, I find that secular music is coarse, heavy and unsuitable to the most fine, fragile, movements of the heart, there's a lot of death in it, just like Apostle Paul was saying -- it evokes feelings of worldly grief, even though it may not seem to, whereas byz music always evokes hope even when Christ dies on the Cross. That's another thing about byz music--it is music of the heart, of pure love, whereas secular appeals mostly to the mind, the senses and the appetites.

    From Reply #63:
    I am surprised you don't know that our Tradition is Byzantine and has been developing for 2000 years. Maybe you should visit an authentic monastery, or see what they are doing on Mount Athos and why they renounced the world. If you are happy with the cliche, "in the world we cannot live as monks", it's true, but you still have to leave the world behind while you fulfill your duties to the world (in a Christian manner).

    I acknowledge that you have never called secular music evil in and of itself, and I recognize that you have never commanded anyone to not listen to secular music. I have also never accused you of doing either of these two things. I do recognize, however, the logical implications of what you have said. The only logical conclusion I can draw from your statements is that Byzantine church music is superior to secular music and that we should therefore devote our time and attention to listening only to Byzantine church music in our daily lives. THIS is the only accusation (if you wish to call it that) that I am making.

    You are saying "fancy colors", but that's just an excuse for you to block out what I was saying.
    You cannot read my mind, so please don't tell me that I said something merely as an excuse for not doing something else. I have read your patristic quotes, and I have processed them. I just disagree with your interpretation of them.

    Why don't you take those quotes that I highlighted and give us your understanding of them?
    I already did. See Reply #48. For your benefit, though, I will summarize my key points:

    1. Most of the passages you quote speak of why we do not use instrumental music in our liturgical worship.
    2. Those passages that speak of music outside of church speak of the value of singing Psalms, but they say nothing good or bad about "secular" singing or instrumental music outside of our liturgical worship.
    3. George Papadopoulos is not a holy Father, so we should take nothing he says as having any dogmatic authority whatsoever.
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    « Reply #76 on: July 30, 2012, 12:39:59 AM »

    Please, take the quotes themselves from The Fathers that I highlighted and interpret them (forget the one that is not from a father, but really, you tend to disagree with everybody). Maybe I am not seeing something, but the quotes talk about Christ Himself putting away the old way of making music, and taking up a new one. It's in The Bible, too. You mean to say that He didn't really mean to do that, that He actually went back to instrumental (and its implications, which contradict the spirit of byzantine music)? Can you blame one for imitating Christ, and doing what The Fathers are doing? And by the way The Saints did not just use byzantine in church, but always. Is it ok to follow their example, if nothing else convinces one's mind that they were simply loving the art more than any other?
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    « Reply #77 on: July 30, 2012, 12:58:33 AM »

    Please, take the quotes themselves from The Fathers that I highlighted and interpret them (forget the one that is not from a father, but really, you tend to disagree with everybody). Maybe I am not seeing something, but the quotes talk about Christ Himself putting away the old way of making music, and taking up a new one. It's in The Bible, too. You mean to say that He didn't really mean to do that, that He actually went back to instrumental (and its implications, which contradict the spirit of byzantine music)? Can you blame one for imitating Christ, and doing what The Fathers are doing? And by the way The Saints did not just use byzantine in church, but always. Is it ok to follow their example, if nothing else convinces one's mind that they were simply loving the art more than any other?
    For one, you are still ignoring my request that you consider Znamenny chant. Frankly, your insistence on lauding the glory of Byzantine chant in the face of my repeated references to a very similar Znamenny chant tradition is rather insulting to those millions of Orthodox who have grown up in the Slavic churches.

    You're also ignoring Byzantine chant's roots in the secular music of pre-Christian Greece, which is touched upon in the following articles:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Byzantine_music#Origins_and_early_Christian_period

    http://www.liturgica.com/html/Byzantine_Chant.jsp

    http://stanthonysmonastery.org/music/History.htm
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    « Reply #78 on: July 30, 2012, 01:14:20 AM »

    If I just ask that what do you Peter and IoanC think that how should we as christians not living in monastery do our professions? Are there some jobs that are more "christian" and better for you? That was my original question. I think we all agree that there is good music and bad music and that music for church is better for your spiritual life than, for example Sex Pistols. However, I must also ask from IoanC that what does he think of us working in "secular" music? Are we somehow promoting something evil? Or good? This I would just want to know. And if it is somehow not as good as byzantine music, why should have God give us such a gift? I've read some bits of Fathers and I also know that the quotes you gave are just some. There are also quotes about the good of music. And to Peter I must say that I also think that somehow IoanC is right also. In todays world the music sometimes takes over the place of God and worship and that disgusts me as a musician. Music should praise God, not money or the composer or musician himself.
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    « Reply #79 on: July 30, 2012, 01:23:40 AM »

    If I just ask that what do you Peter and IoanC think that how should we as christians not living in monastery do our professions? Are there some jobs that are more "christian" and better for you? That was my original question. I think we all agree that there is good music and bad music and that music for church is better for your spiritual life than, for example Sex Pistols. However, I must also ask from IoanC that what does he think of us working in "secular" music? Are we somehow promoting something evil? Or good? This I would just want to know. And if it is somehow not as good as byzantine music, why should have God give us such a gift? I've read some bits of Fathers and I also know that the quotes you gave are just some. There are also quotes about the good of music. And to Peter I must say that I also think that somehow IoanC is right also. In todays world the music sometimes takes over the place of God and worship and that disgusts me as a musician. Music should praise God, not money or the composer or musician himself.

    I believe that if one works in secular music, it's a matter of spiritual discernment if one continues, or may decide to do something else, such as joining a monastery. Every individual is different and his life is different also. If for one person it puts food on a table, I don't think it's wrong to continue; at any rate, it wouldn't be wise to simply drop everything good that you've worked for an entire life. For such matters it's best to seek the advice of an experienced spiritual father, or more, to compare answers. If one continues the profession, he should strive to perfect himself, and as much as he can his art also, so that people glorify God in what he is doing. My argument was not that secular music/profession it's a sin; I was mostly trying to affirm what Byz music is. Like I said, byzantine music contains all the elements that good secular music does, but on a higher, different and holy level. The two are not in contradiction when secular music applies the rules of asceticism and stays away from sin.
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    « Reply #80 on: July 30, 2012, 01:27:48 AM »

    If I just ask that what do you Peter and IoanC think that how should we as christians not living in monastery do our professions? Are there some jobs that are more "christian" and better for you? That was my original question. I think we all agree that there is good music and bad music and that music for church is better for your spiritual life than, for example Sex Pistols. However, I must also ask from IoanC that what does he think of us working in "secular" music? Are we somehow promoting something evil? Or good? This I would just want to know. And if it is somehow not as good as byzantine music, why should have God give us such a gift? I've read some bits of Fathers and I also know that the quotes you gave are just some. There are also quotes about the good of music. And to Peter I must say that I also think that somehow IoanC is right also. In todays world the music sometimes takes over the place of God and worship and that disgusts me as a musician. Music should praise God, not money or the composer or musician himself.
    I may say more on this later, but I'm in process of shifting to another responsibility at the moment. Let me just say briefly, as an instrumental musician myself, that I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiments you express in the final three sentences of your above post. Even in my "secular" orchestral performances, I still strive to keep the praise of God my ultimate goal and recognize the enjoyment of the audience and my own joy as a musician to be merely secondary pursuits.
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    « Reply #81 on: July 30, 2012, 05:06:15 AM »

    Peter: how lovely that you are a musician! Greetings from a chamber music festival from Finland! IoanC: would it be too rude to ask what is your position in orthodox church, are you a monk or layman? I really ask only out of intrest and if you feel that you would not want to answer, Im sorry for causing you to feel uncomfortable. God bless you both and I hope that this topic did not you angry. I hope that God will forgive me if it did.
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    « Reply #82 on: July 30, 2012, 05:49:12 AM »

    Peter: how lovely that you are a musician! Greetings from a chamber music festival from Finland! IoanC: would it be too rude to ask what is your position in orthodox church, are you a monk or layman? I really ask only out of intrest and if you feel that you would not want to answer, Im sorry for causing you to feel uncomfortable. God bless you both and I hope that this topic did not you angry. I hope that God will forgive me if it did.

    I am a baptized member of The Church and a layman. Your topic did not make me angry, that would be my fault. Smiley
    Sorry, if I sounded too fundamentalist! Smiley
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    « Reply #83 on: July 30, 2012, 07:53:02 AM »

    Not at all, IoanC! I as a musician and a music teacher feel that we should discuss things like this more often. So often we use our good gifts in a way that is not always good for us. And I sometimes feel disgusted with the western(and maybe it's universal, or more likely human)view of artist as something almost godly. I think that good music is good for us and that we should have much more calmness and spirituality in our lives so we could really live as we were meant to be. And I also think that its not only classical music that is always the "purest" of "secular"music as well as I think that we should much more often really think and question our views of the world, it's so easy to just calm down and relax and think that I'm right and they're wrong, but world is not like that. We should always fight for the good in the world without making us angry or non-lovable towards anyone or anything. So thank you all for your comments, it has been truly interesting!
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    « Reply #84 on: July 30, 2012, 10:11:11 AM »

    Please, take the quotes themselves from The Fathers that I highlighted and interpret them (forget the one that is not from a father, but really, you tend to disagree with everybody). Maybe I am not seeing something, but the quotes talk about Christ Himself putting away the old way of making music, and taking up a new one. It's in The Bible, too. You mean to say that He didn't really mean to do that, that He actually went back to instrumental (and its implications, which contradict the spirit of byzantine music)? Can you blame one for imitating Christ, and doing what The Fathers are doing? And by the way The Saints did not just use byzantine in church, but always. Is it ok to follow their example, if nothing else convinces one's mind that they were simply loving the art more than any other?
    For one, you are still ignoring my request that you consider Znamenny chant. Frankly, your insistence on lauding the glory of Byzantine chant in the face of my repeated references to a very similar Znamenny chant tradition is rather insulting to those millions of Orthodox who have grown up in the Slavic churches.

    We shouldn't forget about the Georgians being miffed as well.

    Georgian chant has a history that reaches back to the earliest Christian times--Georgia being the first country to accept Christianity. Georgian Christianity has a rich history of liturgical worship and theology, and developed it's own specific chant form. Georgian music has a haunting, piercing sound. Its liturgical music offers an Orthodox musical tradition that escapes the polarity between Byzantine chant as preserved in the Greek tradition, the traditional Znamenny chant of Russia.
    http://www.liturgica.com/cart/musicInfo.jsp?catNo=AK022

    I have one CD of Georgian chant, and it is difficult for me to see the connection between Georgian 3-part polyphony and byzantine chant, although it is presumably there somewhere.

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    « Reply #85 on: July 30, 2012, 10:36:01 AM »

    But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?

    Quite so, but there are things we do in the world that we wouldn't do in a Church building and vice versa.

    Saint Basil the Great exhorted Christians to read pagan Greek literature. Not all of it, of course- some writings are more worthwhile than others, and some are harmful- but he certainly thought it useful and conducive to Christian learning to study Plato, Homer, etc. Sacred Christian learning, of course, he regarded as higher, but this did not mean that we should read only Christian books. He believed study of the classical secular learning could help deepen the faith and provide, as it were, the foliage around the fruit of Christian learning. Even if Christian learning is superior, St. Basil does not advocate abandoning the pagan learning.

    On a side note, Kontoglou didn't only paint icons. One of his "carnal" creations:
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    « Reply #86 on: July 30, 2012, 12:42:06 PM »

    But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?

    Quite so, but there are things we do in the world that we wouldn't do in a Church building and vice versa.

    Saint Basil the Great exhorted Christians to read pagan Greek literature. Not all of it, of course- some writings are more worthwhile than others, and some are harmful- but he certainly thought it useful and conducive to Christian learning to study Plato, Homer, etc. Sacred Christian learning, of course, he regarded as higher, but this did not mean that we should read only Christian books. He believed study of the classical secular learning could help deepen the faith and provide, as it were, the foliage around the fruit of Christian learning. Even if Christian learning is superior, St. Basil does not advocate abandoning the pagan learning.



    The study of secular fields could be useful so you understand a dialect that you are hoping to refute. Otherwise, God does not need anything from the world, His Grace is enough. Not saying we should stop acting in the world, or that God may not choose to use the world as a tool for learning/perfection; in and of itself, the world needs to be left behind,ultimately, period.
    The painting you presented, assuming it is by Photios, means nothing because we don't know during what stage of his life he made it. Obviously, it would have been after he declared secular art carnal, or else he would've made no sense. Sad that you find such an argument worthwhile, logical.
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    « Reply #87 on: July 31, 2012, 01:23:57 AM »

    But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?

    Quite so, but there are things we do in the world that we wouldn't do in a Church building and vice versa.

    Saint Basil the Great exhorted Christians to read pagan Greek literature. Not all of it, of course- some writings are more worthwhile than others, and some are harmful- but he certainly thought it useful and conducive to Christian learning to study Plato, Homer, etc. Sacred Christian learning, of course, he regarded as higher, but this did not mean that we should read only Christian books. He believed study of the classical secular learning could help deepen the faith and provide, as it were, the foliage around the fruit of Christian learning. Even if Christian learning is superior, St. Basil does not advocate abandoning the pagan learning.



    The study of secular fields could be useful so you understand a dialect that you are hoping to refute. Otherwise, God does not need anything from the world, His Grace is enough. Not saying we should stop acting in the world, or that God may not choose to use the world as a tool for learning/perfection; in and of itself, the world needs to be left behind,ultimately, period.
    So you think there's no possibility that in becoming man in order to save man, Christ didn't also seek to redeem human culture and make even what we call secular a means of our salvation? Why do you hold so strongly to such an ascetic view of the world that you deny that worldview based on our belief in the Incarnation of the Word? Asceticism is not a uniquely Orthodox phenomenon, but the dogma of the Incarnation certainly is.
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    « Reply #88 on: August 03, 2012, 08:56:18 AM »

    But, there is no "outside The Church". When you go to Church you are one person, and when you come home a different one? Don't we go to Church so that we bring home what we learn there?

    Quite so, but there are things we do in the world that we wouldn't do in a Church building and vice versa.

    Saint Basil the Great exhorted Christians to read pagan Greek literature. Not all of it, of course- some writings are more worthwhile than others, and some are harmful- but he certainly thought it useful and conducive to Christian learning to study Plato, Homer, etc. Sacred Christian learning, of course, he regarded as higher, but this did not mean that we should read only Christian books. He believed study of the classical secular learning could help deepen the faith and provide, as it were, the foliage around the fruit of Christian learning. Even if Christian learning is superior, St. Basil does not advocate abandoning the pagan learning.



    The study of secular fields could be useful so you understand a dialect that you are hoping to refute.

    How does one "refute" a dialect?

    In any case, Saint Basil the Great, in his "Address to young men on the right use of Greek literature," teaches us that there is much that is profitable for Christians in pagan literature: (emphases are mine)

    Quote
    Into the life eternal the Holy Scriptures lead us, which teach us through divine words. But so long as our immaturity forbids our understanding their deep thought, we exercise our spiritual perceptions upon profane writings, which are not altogether different, and in which we perceive the truth as it were in shadows and in mirrors. Thus we imitate those who perform the exercises of military practice, for they acquire skill in gymnastics and in dancing, and then in battle reap the reward of their training. We must needs believe that the greatest of all battles lies before us, in preparation for which we must do and suffer all things to gain power. Consequently we must be conversant with poets, with historians, with orators, indeed with all men who may further our soul's salvation. Just as dyers prepare the cloth before they apply the dye, be it purple or any other color, so indeed must we also, if we would preserve indelible the idea of the true virtue, become first initiated in the pagan lore, then at length give special heed to the sacred and divine teachings, even as we first accustom ourselves to the sun's reflection in the water, and then become able to turn our eyes upon the very sun itself.

    If, then, there is any affinity between the two literatures, a knowledge of them should be useful to us in our search for truth; if not, the comparison, by emphasizing the contrast, will be of no small service in strengthening our regard for the better one. With what now may we compare these two kinds of education to obtain a simile? Just as it is the chief mission of the tree to bear its fruit in its season, though at the same time it puts forth for ornament the leaves which quiver on its boughs, even so the real fruit of the soul is truth, yet it is not without advantage for it to embrace the pagan wisdom, as also leaves offer shelter to the fruit, and an appearance not untimely. That Moses, whose name is a synonym for wisdom, severely trained his mind in the learning of the Egyptians, and thus became able to appreciate their deity. Similarly, in later days, the wise Daniel is said to have studied the lore of the Chaldaeans while in Babylon, and after that to have taken up the sacred teachings.


    Quote from: Ioanc
    Not saying we should stop acting in the world, or that God may not choose to use the world as a tool for learning/perfection; in and of itself, the world needs to be left behind,ultimately, period.

    The world and all created things are to be abandoned in the ascent to God, but that's something different. Your argument that all non-Ecclesiastic art is "carnal" and useless for spiritual growth is in contradiction to Saint Basil and other Fathers (St. Gregory of Nyssa, for example.)

    Quote from: IoanC
    The painting you presented, assuming it is by Photios, means nothing because we don't know during what stage of his life he made it. Obviously, it would have been after he declared secular art carnal, or else he would've made no sense. Sad that you find such an argument worthwhile, logical.

    As I said, it was a "side note" and not really an argumentative point. It does show that Mr. Kontoglou did not always make such a silly distinction as he does in the essay your quote.

    All the same, the assertion that all non-Byzantine art is "carnal" is wrong and ignorant.
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    « Reply #89 on: August 03, 2012, 01:07:28 PM »

    So you think there's no possibility that in becoming man in order to save man, Christ didn't also seek to redeem human culture and make even what we call secular a means of our salvation? Why do you hold so strongly to such an ascetic view of the world that you deny that worldview based on our belief in the Incarnation of the Word? Asceticism is not a uniquely Orthodox phenomenon, but the dogma of the Incarnation certainly is.

    I wouldn't say Christ redeemed human culture. What?! Where did you hear that? That He can also work through human culture and so on, He does so because He has no choice, but this fallen world will never be His construction because it is mixed with sin, it is man-made. Orthodoxy is not man-made, it is Divinely inspired. And by the way, people who do not come to Orthodoxy in this life, they will in the next; they will not enter Heaven playing AC/DC, writing romantic poems, or holding on to, say, capitalism.  (to give random examples). Smiley
    « Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 01:09:03 PM by IoanC » Logged

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    « Reply #90 on: August 03, 2012, 05:57:02 PM »

    So you think there's no possibility that in becoming man in order to save man, Christ didn't also seek to redeem human culture and make even what we call secular a means of our salvation? Why do you hold so strongly to such an ascetic view of the world that you deny that worldview based on our belief in the Incarnation of the Word? Asceticism is not a uniquely Orthodox phenomenon, but the dogma of the Incarnation certainly is.

    I wouldn't say Christ redeemed human culture.
    Then you don't believe that He came to redeem the whole of man.

    What?! Where did you hear that?
    Where did you hear that He came only to redeem each individual?

    That He can also work through human culture and so on, He does so because He has no choice, but this fallen world will never be His construction because it is mixed with sin, it is man-made.
    That's why it needs redeeming. I never said this fallen world is His construction. I only said that He can sanctify this fallen world.

    You have seen quotes from St. Basil the Great that speak of the value of "secular" learning, to include exposure to classical music, to the Orthodox Christian. Do you ignore his words in favor of the words of those Fathers whom you read as supporting your view that we should make no room for "secular" music in our lives?

    Orthodoxy is not man-made, it is Divinely inspired. And by the way, people who do not come to Orthodoxy in this life, they will in the next; they will not enter Heaven playing AC/DC, writing romantic poems, or holding on to, say, capitalism.  (to give random examples). Smiley
    But is that ALL Christianity is about: redeeming people for the life of the age to come? Jesus Christ didn't just forgive sin; He also healed the sick and raised the dead. Though Jesus Himself lived the celibate life of a monastic, He blessed marriage by turning water into wine at a wedding feast. This tells me that Jesus gives just as much thought to our material welfare in this world as to our spiritual welfare in the next.
    « Last Edit: August 03, 2012, 11:16:48 PM by PeterTheAleut » Logged
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    « Reply #91 on: August 03, 2012, 06:15:27 PM »

    I purchased the Russian chant CD but it was stolen.  Undecided
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