Nonmetrical spiritual songs, Psalms, or hymns, taken directly from Scriptures and used in the ch. from the earliest times, usually chanted at prescribed place in the services. In some cases the Bible text has been paraphrased to some extent; in others it has remained unchanged. Canticles in use in the ch. include the Gloria* Petri (Glory be to the Father), based on the baptismal formula Mt 28:19, a paraphrase in use since the 1st c. and known as the Lesser Doxology; the Gloria* in excelsis, known as the Greater Doxology, the song of the angels, Lk 2:14, enlarged into a hymn of adoration celebrating God's glory as manifested in the gift of His Son; the Tersanctus,* or Sanctus,* a combination of the hymn of the seraphim before the throne of God, Is 6:23, and of the song of the multitudes as they went to meet Christ at His triumphal entry into Jerusalem, Mt 21:9, the section by the people being taken from Ps 118:2526 (see also Hallel); the Nunc dimittis of Simeon, Lk 2:2932, sung at the close of the Communion as well as at Vespers*; the Te* Deum, a hymn of praise, confession of faith, and petition; the Benedicite, beginning, O all ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord, from the Song* of the Three Children, the Magnificat,* beginning, My soul doth magnify the Lord, Mary's song of praise, Lk 1:4655, used in Vespers; the Benedictus,* beginning, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, the song of praise of Zacharias, Lk 1:6879, used in festival services, esp. at Christmastide. See also Worship, Parts of, 15.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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