To sing is to pray twice


#1

What exactly does this mean, and why is this?


#2

I found this here: saint-mike.org/apologetics/qa/Answers/Church_History/History_View.html

The quote which St. Augustine actually said was:

“For he that singeth praise, not only praiseth, but only praiseth with gladness: he that singeth praise, not only singeth, but also loveth him of whom he singeth. In praise, there is the speaking forth of one confessing; in singing, the affection of one loving.”
(St. Augustine, Commentary on Psalm 73, 1)
Apparently this has been abridged to “He who sings prays twice” over the centuries.

The quote is referenced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1156:

1156"The musical tradition of the universal Church is a treasure of inestimable value, greater even than that of any other art. The main reason for this pre-eminence is that, as a combination of sacred music and words, it forms a necessary or integral part of solemn liturgy." The composition and singing of inspired psalms, often accompanied by musical instruments, were already closely linked to the liturgical celebrations of the Old Covenant. The Church continues and develops this tradition: “Address . . . one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.” "He who sings prays twice."21

The corresponding footnote references St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 72, 1: PL 36, 914;. (The reason why the Catechism says Psalm 72 instead of Psalm 73, is because the Catechism is using Psalm numbering from the Septuagint, which fused two of the earlier psalms, meaning the numbering of the later psalms is out of sync with the usual modern listing).

You can find the text of Psalm 73
here

As an aside, it is good to keep in mind how frequently the Scripture tell us to sing to the Lord, or tell of the saints to sing to God… A representative sample of verses follows:
Psalm 9:2; 30:4, 32:11; 33:1-3; 42:8; 66:1-4; 68:4, 24-26; 71:22-23; 81:1-2; 89:1; 92:1-4; 98:1; 100:2; 105:2; 108:1; 138:1-5; 144:9; 147:1; 149:1-5.

Eph 5:19; Col 3:16; Revelation 5:9-10; 12-13; 15: 3-4.


#3

St. Augustine * is credited with having said that to “sing a hymn is to have prayed twice” This because the natural form of prayer is singing. The Psalms are hymns meant to be sung.

Not to stray off topic to far: Your tag line, not sure about it. the Stoics * were the group that said “eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we shall die” that St. Paul quotes. It was their guiding philosophy…seems a parallel to yours…by design?**


#4

i have to say that i really encourage singing in church…i tell my ccd kids (second grade) to open the gather hymnals for their parents and hand it to them during the mass…i tell them to really make a big deal about it…we are all called to participate in the mass, and that inlcudes SINGING…praying twice!!!..my husband is a ‘formar’ protestant, and i have to say, they get into singing! i dont sing very well…but i dont care! i go for it!


#5

I enjoy singing a lot; unfortunately, I have allergy and I often have problem breathing. It makes very difficult for me to sing without losing my breath.


#6

singing is my favorite part of the mass not counting the reason why we come for which is the Eucharist.


#7

I think the reason singing doubles the prayer is because the beauty of the melody can easily arouse our inner emotion and help our hearts open to God. When we sing, our expression is accompanied with the music of praise, and natural sincerity. God loves our sincerity which brings the effect of double prayer. And yes, this singing is the singing with the theme of thanksgiving, praise, or petition to do with God, not just any kind of songs.


#8

#9

I think it is important to point out, too, that Augustine doesn’t mean all forms of singing. He’s referring, in particular, to chant - which is how the Psalms had been “sung” for ages by the Jews. This is why, in the ancient Church, entire liturgies were chanted and you can see this today in the Eastern Rites.


#10

To sing is to pray twice

Well, one man at our parish qualifies for this in the way it is meant. For the rest of us, we are trying to sing and, at the same time, we are praying that he would either sing softer or not try to sing faster than everyone else. Very disconcerting.:smiley:


#11

One way to interpret that is that some people’s singing makes others pray twice that they would stop :stuck_out_tongue:

Just kidding. In fact, there is an older [than me] lady in our parish that sits pretty much where we do, and she could not carry a tune if she had a flatbed truck. Never mind–I love sitting next to her–it’s like sitting next to an angel.

DaveBj


#12

At the Holy Thursday service, our priest asked if I wanted to sing in the choir, and I replied, “I’m sorry Father, but I left my bucket at home, and besides, it has alot of holes in it to boot.” :o


#13

Pray tell me, doesn't pray mean "to ask"? The first use of the word "pray" in the English language was in the 13th century and it meant "to ask, or plead." Thus, when we pray to Mary and the saints, we are "asking" her and them to intercede with God, to pray (ask) along with us for God's favor. Some protestants believe that prayer is synonymous with worship (reverence given to God) and that is why they think that we worship Mary and the Saints when we pray to them. (We don't.) When we say, "to sing is to pray twice" the words are literally saying, "to sing is to ask twice" but what we should be saying is, "to sing praises to God is to praise Him in two ways" because there is praise in our words and praise in our joy of singing those words. King David also danced, which his wife disapproved of. He also played a stringed instrument. So King David played and danced as he praised the Lord in song and thus David praised God in four ways.

Here's the quote that Tantum ergo posted:

"The quote which St. Augustine actually said was:

"For he that singeth praise, not only praiseth, but only praiseth with gladness: he that singeth praise, not only singeth, but also loveth him of whom he singeth. In praise, there is the speaking forth of one confessing; in singing, the affection of one loving."
(St. Augustine, Commentary on Psalm 73, 1)
Apparently this has been abridged to "He who sings prays twice" over the centuries.

The quote is referenced in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 1156:"


#14

I love singing, but in church I usually don’t sing much if at all. I let my kids take turns being cantor, and I get to play piano for everybody else while they sing! I love playing for an audience, and/or accompanying while they sing. At home we sing together several times a week, including getting ready for Mass. We also like Disney songs – lots of good healthy messages to great music. The girls will dance around sometimes either singing or not while I play. :dancing:

The thing about music is it hits people at more than one level of consciousness. We don’t have to understand music to feel it. It bypasses our mental “shields” and gets into our souls without our ability to mentally block it. So music gets in “under the radar” compared to the spoken word. With speech, one can follow the tone of voice but other than that if one doesn’t know the language, much is lost – in music it is not. Singing, playing, listening, at any level of expertise one can be moved by music.

Reference on music getting into the soul past intellectual processes with limitations: Young Frankenstein clip.

Alan


#15

I’m just hoping, “To lip-synch is to pray 1.5 times.”


#16

[quote="Phaedra777, post:15, topic:69595"]
I'm just hoping, "To lip-synch is to pray 1.5 times."

[/quote]

From the Catholic dictionary:

CHOIR: A group of people whose singing allows the rest of the Parish to lip-sync.


#17

Someone once told me "If you have a beautiful voice, sing out in praise. And if you have a horrible voice, sing out in revenge! But either way, always sing out in praise at all times because God knows your voice and your gifts and every voice lifted in praise is beautiful to Him.


#18

Sometimes during my prayers I will sing the Ava Maria to the Blessed Mother … I don’t know if it’s praying twice, but I do believe it is a special type of adoration … when I do sing it to her, I can feel my devotion to her in a very deep way and I hope she feels it too.


#19

This talk about not singing reminds me of an old Carmelite story…

Let’s see if I can do it justice…

Apparently a monastery of Carmelite friars would gather for prayer each day and together sing the Ave Maria. When they did so the Virgin Mary would appear.
A new friar joined the community, one who had a beautiful singing voice. Because of this, the community decided that he would sing the Ave by himself. But the Virgin stopped appearing.
This distressed the community so they prayed, asking the Virgin why she no longer appeared to them. She replied that she found the sound of the entire community singing together, false notes and all, far more attractive to her than that of the perfect pitch of the soloist.
From that moment on they all sang together.

There is a place in our church for solo singing, a small place, and a place, a greater place, for the entire assembly to sing - that means you! If you have the breath, sing out loudly…if not sing softly. The song is a prayer, a communal prayer, in which you have a part.


#20

Where’s the like button?


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