Chrysostom

“Learn to sing psalms, and thou shalt see the delightfulness of the employment. For they who sing psalms are filled with the Holy Spirit, as they who sing satanic songs are filled with an unclean spirit.”
–  Homily XIX on Eph 5:15-17, NPNF1-13

“The grace of the Holy Ghost hath so ordered it, that the Psalms of David should be recited and sung night and day. In the Church’s vigils—in the morning—at funeral solemnities—the first, the midst, and the last is David. In private houses, where virgins spin—in the monasteries—in the deserts, where men converse with God—the first, the midst, and the last is David. In the night, when men sleep, he wakes them up to sing; and collecting the servants of God into angelic troops, turns earth into heaven, and of men makes angels, chanting David’s Psalms.”

Commodianus

“Ye are rejecting the law when ye wish to please the world. Ye dance in your houses; instead of psalms, ye sing love songs. Thou, although thou mayest be chaste, dost not prove thyself so by following evil things.”
– The Instructions of Commodianus in Favor of Christian Discipline (c. 250 AD)

Augustine

“The Donatists reproach us with our grave chanting of the divine songs of the prophets in our churches, while they inflame their passions in their revels by the singing of psalms of human composition.”
–  Letter to Januarius, NPNF01-1

“The clouds of heaven thunder out throughout the world that God’s house is being built; and the frogs cry from the marsh, We alone are Christians. What testimonies do I bring forward? That of the Psalter. I bring forward what you sing as one deaf: open your ears; you sing this; you sing with me, and you agree not with me; your tongue sounds what mine does, and yet your heart disagrees with mine. Do you not sing this?” – Exposition of Psalm 96 [encouraging the congregation to understand that the psalms they sing point to the reign of Christ over the church]

Athanasius

“…each one sings the Psalms as though they had been written for his special benefit, and takes them and recites them, not as though someone else were speaking or another person’s feelings being described, but as himself speaking of himself, offering the words to God as his own heart’s utterance, just as though he himself had made them up. Not as the words of the patriarchs or of Moses and the other prophets will he reverence these: no, he is bold to take them as his own and written for his very self. Whether he has kept the Law or whether he has broken it, it is his own doings that the Psalms describe; every one is bound to find his very self in them and, be he faithful soul or be he sinner, each reads in them descriptions of himself.”
– Letter to Marcellinus

Tertullian

“Perpetua sang psalms, already treading under foot the head of the Egyptian;”
– The Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas, Schaff’s ANF03

“What kind of yoke is that of two believers, (partakers) of one hope, one desire, one discipline, one and the same service? Both (are) brethren, both fellow servants, no difference of spirit or of flesh; nay, (they are) truly two in one flesh.Where the flesh is one, one is the spirit too…Between the two echo psalms and hymns; and they mutually challenge each other which shall better chant to their Lord. Such things when Christ sees and hears, He joys.”
– Ad Uxorem, Book 2 ch.8 [encouraging husbands and wives to sing psalms to each other as a sign of Christian unity in marraige]

Clement of Alexandria

“Further, among the ancient Greeks, in their banquets over the brimming cups, a song was sung called askolion, after the manner of the Hebrew psalms, all together raising the pæan with the voice, and sometimes also taking turns in the song while they drank healths round; while those that were more musical than the rest sang to the lyre. But let amatory songs be banished far away, and let our songs be hymns to God. Let them praise, it is said, His name in the dance, and let them play to Him on the timbrel and psaltery. And what is the choir which plays? The Spirit will show you: Let His praise be in the congregation (church) of the saints; let them be joyful in their King. And again he adds, The Lord will take pleasure in His people. For temperate harmonies are to be admitted; but we are to banish as far as possible from our robust mind those liquid harmonies, which, through pernicious arts in the modulations of tones, train to effeminacy and scurrility.”
– The Paedagogus, Book 2, ch.4 [Clement here exhorts fathers to led their families is “hymns to God” during feasts, explaining his meaning of this term by quotation from Psalm 149]

Cyprian of Carthage

“Let the temperate meal resound with psalms; and as your memory is tenacious and your voice musical, undertake this office, as is your wont. You will provide a better entertainment for your dearest friends, if, while we have something spiritual to listen to, the sweetness of religious music charm our ears.” – Epistle 1 (To Donatus), in ANF05

 

 

 

I am a Reformed Presbyterian. I offer all content as my own personal reflections. I am not a licensed minister.