Thanks to James McGrath for posting on the oldest known Christian hymn with musical notation.
According to the Ancient Peoples blog, the hymn, discovered on a papyri fragment in a garbage dump near Oxyrynchus, Egypt, reads:
...Let it be silent
Let the Luminous stars not shine,
Let the winds (?) and all the noisy rivers die down;
And as we hymn the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
Let all the powers add "Amen, Amen."
Empire, praise always, and glory to God,
The sole giver of good things, Amen, Amen.There is something bizarre and mystical about the piece. Music has a unique way of connecting us to the past in ways that other media—even the written word!—cannot. To listen to this hymn is to hear what the ancients heard, and to somehow witness a transcendence of time and culture in the worship of God.