Saturday, August 23, 2014
St. Porphyrios: The pious chanter radiates the grace of God
St. Porphyrios of Kavsokalyvia (source)
"Byzantine ecclesiastical music is a teaching...it softens the soul of man, and slowly lifts him up to other spiritual worlds with his voice, which sows [spiritual] pleasure and rejoicing and thanksgiving, traveling to another, spiritual world. This is how it is in reality, my children. Do not look where you are hearing this and what they are doing. When you do this slowly, you enter in with such a spiritual form, and thus sense what to do.
"You can be an egotistical chanter, and rock and be pleased with your self and be hollow. You might have the voice that can move others, but he who is truly holy when he chants has something else. He does not have his voice alone. Together with his voice, which radiates with sound waves, he radiates grace with other mystical waves, which reaches the souls of men and moves them even more deeply.
"The hollow “musician” (let us call him), the egotist, has [pride] and is pleased [with this]. The holy musician sends forth waves together with his voice. This is a very great mystery. As a result, if you go to the Holy Mountain, and hear the monks chanting, even if you have a frozen and stony heart, when you hear them, [you say]: “There it is. This musician can [truly move someone]...”
(amateur translation of text from source)
An icon of some of the most prominent Holy Melodists and Hymnographers of the Orthodox Church: Sts. Romanos the Melodist, John Koukouzelis, Gregory Domestikos, John of Damascus, Joseph the Hymnographer and Kosmas the Poet (source)
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!