On Music in Holy Scripture

St. Maximus the Confessor ca. 580-662

If you are looking for a clarification of the music found in Scripture, understand it in the following way. “Praise the Lord with the sound of the trumpet”: at the commemeration of the resurrection the earth is jolted by a trumpet, as it had been written. “Praise Him with stringed instrument and harp”: with our tongue and our mouth as though we were being plucked by the Spirit, as by a plectrum. “Praise Him with timbrel and dance”: with flesh and soul, from which our petitions, like dancers, step across to God. “Praise him with strings and pipes”: with the heart and with all the internal organs and nerves, which he has called pipes. “Praise Him with clanging cymbals”: with the lips through which the harmonious songs of psalmody are composed. (Questions and Doubts: Various Questions and Selections from Various Passages that are Perplexing, Question I, 71)

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