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Hymns and Songs – Did Jesus Ever Cantor?

Have you ever wondered what the singing of Jesus and the disciples sounded like in that upper room? What “hymns” did they sing? Trust me, the hymns Jesus sang were not the type of hymns we sing today when we gather for Holy Mass. You definitely would not recognize the tunes.

Any song sung in praise of any deity can be called a hymn. But the style and form of the hymns Jesus and his disciples sang would have been quite different from what we are accustomed to hearing. Probably, one or more of the psalms of David set to tunes that every man in that room would have known, were sung. If sung true to form, these hymns would have been sung antiphonally, that is, one of the disciples would have sung the verse, and the other men would have responded. We know this because Hebrew scriptures leave us evidence of these musical directions. Most likely, these hymns would have been sung with voice only, no instruments.

Do we know if Jesus was the cantor? Or, might it have been Peter? I think it was Jesus. Here’s my thought on this….

When I visit family during seasonal events and we share a meal together, my dad is always looked upon to offer thanks and say the blessing before the meal. He is perceived as the head of our household. We tend to look to a leader to lead. Jesus was the leader; his disciples were his followers. I’m putting my money on Jesus cantoring the psalm-singing.


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