Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


(Lat. cantus, “song”). The liturgy (Order of the Holy Communion) and the minor offices are often chanted, i. e., recited in a sung-spoken manner. The Luth., Angl., RC, Gk. Orthodox, and Russ. Orthodox are the main chs. which offer wide possibility for chanting the liturgy. Liturgical chant derives from W and E traditions. The former begins with Ambrosian* (Milanese, 4th c.), Gregorian,* Mozarabic,* Gallican,* and Sarum* chants. These can be placed under the common heading of plainsong. Early E traditions are called Byzantine, or Gk. Orthodox; Russ. developments came later. Both E and W forms can be traced through Jewish traditions to Egyptian and Indian ethos. All these branches and practices are monophonic, gen. unaccompanied, and, in the true sense of chant, free-rhythmic music. These features are found in music within and without the ch., though largely developed within the ch. After the Reformation Eng. developed her own manner of chanting. Chanting Psalms and Canticles at Morning and Evening Prayer developed into Angl. chant, which is to be sung in 4-part harmony; it may be sung in unison only with accompaniment. The reciting-note features are common to plainsong and Angl. chant, but the manner of making a cadence differs widely in melody and rhythmic pattern. Luther's Formula missae (1523) and Deudsche Messe or “German Mass” (1526) helped set the tone and attitude toward use of plainsong in the Luth. services of worship, ln early and developing periods of Lutheranism plainsong was widely used in chanting the propers* and the ordinary of the Order of the Holy Communion. It has remained in the decorum and habit of the ch. To chant the liturgy is a manner of prayer; it is a mark of the ch. in action to express God's sacramental work and respond sacrificially in praise and thanksgiving. See also Liturgics; Luther, Liturgies of.

Handbuch der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenmusik, ed. K. Ameln, C. Mahrenholz, W. Thomas, and C. Gerhardt, I in 2 parts: Der Altargesang (Göttingen, 1941–42); W. Apel, Gregorian Chant (Bloomington, Indiana, 1958); Schatz des liturgischen Chor- und Gemeindesgesangs, ed. L. Schoeberlein, 2 vols. (vol. 2 in 2 parts) (Göttingen, 1865–72). RRB

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

Stay Connected! Join the LCMS Network:

Contact Us Online
(Staff Switchboard)
(Church Info Center)
1333 S Kirkwood Rd
Saint Louis, MO 63122-7226 | Directions


Featured Publication

The Lutheran Witness

LCMS Communications

Interpreting the contemporary world from a Lutheran Christian perspective.
Visit TLW Online