The Church Fathers on Musical Instruments in Worship

David W. Music:

Pöttsching-Pecsenyéd -church-organ“The Fathers brought three basic arguments to bear on the question of instruments: (1) instruments and other “ceremonies” were characteristic of the “infancy” of the church (i.e., the Jewish Dispensation), while the church was now in its maturity (the Christian Dispensation); thus, (2) the numerous references to instruments and instrumental music in the Old Testament should be interpreted symbolically; and (3) instruments were associated with immoral practices, even as some pagan writers had noted. …[T]he Fathers do not seem to have been writing in reaction to contemporary Christian practice. That is, they were not trying to correct abuses that had crept into the Christian church, for there is very little evidence that instruments had ever formed a part of Christian worship during its practice in the early centuries…..”

~Instruments in Church: A Collection of Source Documents, vol. 7, Studies in Liturgical Musicology (Lanham and London: The Scarecrow Press Inc, 1998), 27.

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