Hear the Angel Voices

Thomas Howard on the Versified Dogma of Christian Worship

For Orthodox and Roman Catholic Christians, the singing of hymns—at least in the sense in which hymnody is understood and practiced in the Anglican and Protestant churches—does not occupy exactly the place that it does in those latter two sectors of Christendom. The move away from the liturgy at the Reformation fostered an enormous efflorescence of hymnody. Martin Luther, Isaac Watts, Charles Wesley, and others brought to their congregations a treasury of hymns for which tens of thousands of Christian believers have been grateful.

There is, however, a treasury of hymnody almost unknown now, except, as it happens, in the traditional Anglican Church. For it is the Anglicans . . .

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Thomas Howard taught for many years at St. John's Seminary College, the Roman Catholic seminary of the archdiocese of Boston. Among his many works are the books Christ the tiger, Evangelical Is Not Enough, Lead Kindly Light, On Being Catholic, and The Secret of New York Revealed, and a videotape series of 13 lectures on "The Treasures of Catholicism" (all from Ignatius Press).

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