By F.J.E. Raby
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They were, indeed, an important element in the Western hymnaries as a whole. Benedict of Nursia, in his Rule, gave hymns a prominent place in the divine office by ordaining that at each canonical hour a certain hymn should be sung. But he merely says, 'Sequatur Ambrosianum' or 'hymnus eiusdem horae', leaving for us unsolved the problem of what hymns were actually in use. 3 He begins with the witness of Caesarius, Bishop of Arles, 503-43, who in his Rule for nuns, based for the most part (so he tells us) on the custom of Lérins, ordains the use of 1 Ebert, i.
2 Bäumer, i. 368; ii. 35. 3 'Licet hymnos Ambrosianos habeamus in canone, tamen quoniam reliquorum sunt aliqui, qui digni sunt forma cantari, volumus libenter amplecti eos praeterea, quorum auctorum nomina fuerint in limine praenotata' (Bäumer, ii. 34). 4 E. Bishop, The Genius of the Roman Rite, Liturgica Historica, p. 15. 5 So Bäumer, ii. 35, but his ex silentio argument refers only to Metz and Lyons. html [01-01-2009 1:27:50] page_40 < previous page page_40 next page > Page 40 'from the north', and won the Benedictines to abandon a hymnal associated so intimately and continuously with the opus dei?
361) placed its ban upon such innovations, and as late as 637, the fourth Council of Toledo found it necessary to deal with those who 1 Text in W. Christ and H. Paranikas, Anthologia graeca carminum christianorum, Leipzig 1871, p. 40. 2 J. Mearns, The Canticles of the Church in Early and Medieval Times, Cambridge 1914; article Cantiques in Cabrol's Dictionary. H. Bernard, The Odes of Solomon, Texts and Studies, viii, iii, Cambridge 1912. Bernard's views are not, however, generally accepted, especially in Germany, where the tendency is to minimize the 'specifically Christian' element in the Odes to the benefit of Gnosticism or a 'Judaizing Gnosis'.