Since we have been discussing aesthetics and ethics, this debate on sacred music and chant is highly appropriate. This may set the tone for what follows:

"It is only natural that the worship of God is to be expressed in song. ...praise cannot be reduced to the 'language of this world,' stripped of all balance, rhythm, and harmony. The word of God and man's response to it ....is not the reflection of an 'ordinary' conversation. As soon as the word becomes identified with the contents of its message, it calls for order (rhythm) and melos (arrangements of pitch), i.e., a musical form. In this way, the perfect word, the fully developed word, most always has the nature of song."--quoting Drillock
A reflection of this thought is easily available to anyone familiar with good poetry reading, and is further reinforced by the knowledge that epic poetry such as The Odyssey was always sung....
The old heroic poetry was of a different character from the 13th century hymns and chants, in that it was composed at the moment of the performance. The act of writing it down adds a solidity that was not present in the ancient poems, which were performed live by poets who took their audience's tastes and mood into account, extending or shortening segments accordingly. (See Albert Lord's The Singer of Tales.)

That said, there is an excellent point here -- one that Joe and I were discussing the other day. The more binding poetic forms create a power that isn't present in everyday language. It is, indeed, the natural language for prayer and sacred meanings. The Ynglinga Saga states that Odin spoke everything in rhyme, so that his words gave the form to the poetry of the skalds who followed him.

The greatest poem of the 20th Century, The Ballad of the White Horse, has three forms -- or rather, one basic form, and two extended versions. Usually the longest is used to draw out the mind along an image, so that a stanza of the second-longest can follow to seal the image in the mind.
A bronzed man, with a bird's bright eye,
And a strong bird's beak and brow,
His skin was brown like buried gold,
And of certain of his sires was told
That they came in the shining ship of old,
With Caesar in the prow.

His fruit trees stood like soldiers
Drilled in a straight line,
His strange, stiff olives did not fail,
And all the kings of the earth drank ale,
But he drank wine.
I often think of those lines when Eric stands forth to proclaim the glory that was Rome: and honor him for it.

The words convey a meaning, and the meaning a purpose. That is what words are for.
"One ....would have to add that 'word' in the biblical sense (and also the Greek sense) is more than language and speech, namely, creative reality [In Hebrew, 'dabar'].... For "word" in the sense of the Bible is more than "text," and understanding reaches further than the banal understanding of what is immediately clear to everyone.
"Word," in other words, is logos. It is more than the written word: it is the reason for the words.

Silence is not broken for no cause. Not by God.

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