Author Topic: Liturgical Instruments  (Read 2514 times)

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Offline Friarmoo32

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Liturgical Instruments
« on: February 06, 2005, 02:53:00 PM »
Hello All! I read over at another board that instruments were not carried over into the New Testament age from the Old.  My question is, at what point did instruments begin to be used?  I understand the only reason why any Orthodox Church would, would be probably because that church was bought from a Protestant community or something of that nature.  God Bless.

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2005, 09:04:23 PM »
I don't know the answer.  FYI, unfortunately,  many Greek and Lebanese parishes in North America have organs and use them.  This is unfortunate  because they are not part of our tradition.  I do know, that until well into the middle ages at least, the organ was considered a very vulgar instrument in the West and not suitable for church use, although some "uncouth" parishes did probably use them at this point. 

Bob
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Offline Kizzy

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2005, 03:50:00 PM »
 for a historical account, see my post under the topic of "organ" in the church.
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Offline James2

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #3 on: February 18, 2005, 04:26:35 PM »
We use organs in the Western Rite.  Doubt if there are any guitar masses, though.

Offline Pravoslavbob

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #4 on: February 18, 2005, 09:16:13 PM »
Hi James2,

I'm quite curious to see a Western rite liturgy. I don't live anywhere near a Western rite church, so I guess it will have to wait!

Bob
« Last Edit: February 18, 2005, 09:16:38 PM by Pravoslavbob »
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Offline authio

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2005, 10:34:07 PM »
I happen to like instruments during the Liturgy.  If you've ever experienced a High Mass in a Grand Cathedral, then you'd like them too, I think.  And my understanding of the "western rite" is that it is the Tridentine.  Am I correct to say this?
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Offline zebu

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2005, 11:36:18 PM »
Quote
And my understanding of the "western rite" is that it is the Tridentine.  Am I correct to say this?
There are two Western Rite liturgies in use in America.  The most predominate is the Rite of Saint Tikhon, which is a doctrinally-corrected form of the Holy Communion service of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer(which was used by the Episcopal Church until 1979).  The other liturgy is the Rite of Saint Gregory, which yes, is a doctrinally-corrected and translated version of the Tridentine Mass.  There is also the Sarum Rite and the Gallician Rite, but the only canonical Orthodox churches that use those are in Europe I think. 
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Offline Tikhon29605

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2005, 08:43:04 AM »
The use of organs in the Western Church can be a confusing thing. As a historian and church musician, let me make the following statement. First of all, the organ itself was actually invented by the Byzantines.  It was used for public entertainment in the Hippodrome in Constantinople, in much the same way as a ball park organ is used at a baseball game in the USA today. However, that was about all the Byzantines ever did with it. It was looked upon as a rude, vulgar instrument suitable for entertaining  crowds at circuses and horse races. It was not viewed as an instrument appropriate for the Church.  The Latin Church in the West shared EXACTLY this same view of the organ before the year 800. However, after Charlemagne was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in Aachen (Germany), he began to express an interest in getting an organ similar to what the Byzantines had.  So Germanic people traveled to Constantinople, studied the organ technology, and brought that technology back to Germany (the Holy Roman Empire at the time). Charlemagne still did not want the organ in the Church. He simply wanted it for public entertainment like the Byzantines. The interesting thing is that almost no one else except Charlemagne showed any interest in the organ in the West at this time.  Rome and the Pope would have none of it. They preferred Gregorian chant. Spain, France, and England didn't like the idea either. So the Masses in all those countries continued to be chanted unaccompanied. Even in the Germanic lands, it took HUNDREDS of years for the organ technology to develop. Church organs themselves were not invented in Germany until around 1400, well after the schism between Rome and Constantinople. And it wasn't until about 1500 that the organ became widely used in Germany.  Even then, it was NOT to accompany the singing of hymns, because THERE WERE NO HYMNS. The Mass was in Latin. Hymns (in terms of rhyming prose in the vernacular) are a product of the Protestant Reformation, not the Roman Catholic Church. In Germany in the 1500s the organ was used in a VERY LIMITED way during the Mass. It would play quietly before Mass started, during the Consecration (which the priest said in a low voice) and after the Mass was over. That's it. It still did not play while anyone was SINGING. Singing was ALWAYS unaccompanied, even then. It was not until Martin Luther came along that the organ was introduced to accompany the singing of hymns and parts of the liturgy. And even then, the organ's influence was contained mostly in northern Europe: Germany, the Netherlands, England, the Scandinavian countries, and France. Europe south of the Alps was (and still is) somewhat suspicious of the organ in Church. If you recall the funeral of John Paul II, the organ was scarcely used at all. Nearly all of the singing was a capella, which (by the way) is the way the Vatican still prefers it. But it does ALLOW the use of the organ. Rome, however, has never mandated that the organ must be used. It is a local decision.

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2005, 10:14:06 AM »
Hello All! I read over at another board that instruments were not carried over into the New Testament age from the Old. 

My understanding of this issue (and please, people, correct me if I'm off) is that the instruments used and referred to in the OT ("praise Him with the tymbral and harp," etc.) were part of the experience in the Temple, but were not used in the sacrifical precincts (there were many different divisions within the temple, not just "Holy of Holies" and then the rest...).   My understanding would be that they were used to praise God, but not in the spaces where the sacred acts were done.  This would be our equivalent of having our "Church instruments" in the Church courtyard; its still part of the "Church area," but not the place where the Divine Liturgy is conducted (oh, and in the ancient understanding, the Nave was a worship section of the Church, not just an entryway... this is why I give an example of a courtyard).

{EDIT}
Now I realize that I didn't address the question...

I'm not sure if instrument use was discontinued at the time of Christ and the early New Testament era.  It was, though, a part of temple worship; I don't recall seeing references to it in synagogue worship at the time (this is where I rely on MBZ).

{/EDIT}
« Last Edit: October 08, 2005, 10:16:06 AM by cleveland »
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Offline Michael

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2005, 01:32:40 PM »
Dear Orthidionitist,

There is some useful info on the Western Rite here and here.

Some good links are there, including to parishes and liturgies in use.
« Last Edit: October 08, 2005, 01:33:11 PM by Michael »

Offline BrotherAidan

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Re: Liturgical Instruments
« Reply #10 on: October 11, 2005, 12:26:52 PM »
Thank you all for an edifying and informative thread!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2005, 12:27:18 PM by BrotherAidan »