Singers, in Christian Worship

Singers, In Christian Worship, one of the subordinate orders of the clergy in the early Church, which seems to have taken its rise about the beginning of the 4th century. Mentidn is made of them by the Council of Laodicea; and the reason assigned for instituting them seems to have been to regulate and encourage the ancient psalmody of the Church. They were afterwards called canonical or registered singers. They were also called ὑποβολεῖς, monitors, or suggesters, from their office, which was to act as precentors of the people. Their ordination required no imposition of hands, nor solemn consecration, and might be conferred by a presbyter using this form of words: "See that thou believe in thy heart what thou singest with thy mouth, and approve in thy works what thou believest in thy heart." "Their station in the church was in the ambo, or readingdesk. See Bingham, Christ. Antiq. 3, 7; 8, 5. SEE SINGING.

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