Religion: Singing In Church

Christian congregations have not always been allowed to lift up their hearts in songs of praise. St. Ambrose, 4th Century Bishop of Milan and teacher of St. Augustine, seems to have started congregational hymn singing in the Western church. Some of the church, fathers opposed his innovation on the grounds that it permitted women to raise their voices,* but the practice persisted. Martin Luther was strong for congregational hymns, but it was not until the 18th Century that English congregations generally took up hymn singing. What happened after that is the subject of a new book published last week: Hymns...

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