Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Laodicea - Canon 15

No others shall sing in the Church, save only the canonical singers, who go up into the ambo and sing from a book.

At first glance, this canon appears to prevent any but those with church office from singing during worship.  More likely the intent was to designate who could lead singing.  A canonical singer or cantor would stand in the ambo (i.e., large pulpit) with a copy of the songs and lead the people through the lyrics and tune.  The dearth of copies made this the most efficient way to teach the songs and facilitate good use.

While this may be considered a good use of a trained individual who knows the songs and can demonstrate their use to the congregation as a service to the body, woe to those groups past and present that determined only those properly training are suitable to do this (or another work).

[Warning! Sarcasm alert] And woe to the modern church who does not have such people on staff, for the Lord has obviously removed his blessing. [Sarcasm ended]

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