Front Page Titles (by Subject) QUESTION XCI.: OF THE TAKING OF THE DIVINE NAME TO INVOKE IT IN PRAYER OR PRAISE. - Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2)
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QUESTION XCI.: OF THE TAKING OF THE DIVINE NAME TO INVOKE IT IN PRAYER OR PRAISE. - St. Thomas Aquinas, Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas, vol. 2 (Summa Theologica - Secunda Secundae Pt.2) 
Aquinas Ethicus: or, the Moral Teaching of St. Thomas. A Translation of the Principal Portions of the Second part of the Summa Theologica, with Notes by Joseph Rickaby, S.J. (London: Burns and Oates, 1892).
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OF THE TAKING OF THE DIVINE NAME TO INVOKE IT IN PRAYER OR PRAISE.
Article I.—Is God to be praised by word of mouth?
R. We address words to a man to express to him the thought of our heart, which he cannot know otherwise than by our words. And therefore we praise a man by word of mouth, to let him or others know that we have a good opinion of him, that thereby we may provoke him who is praised to do still better, and lead others who hear him praised to think well of him, and revere him and imitate him. But we address words to God, not to manifest our thoughts to Him who is the searcher of hearts, but to lead ourselves and others who hear us to revere Him. And therefore the praise of the lips is necessary, not for the sake of God, but for the sake of him who gives the praise, whose heart is raised to God thereby. The praise of the lips is also useful for moving the affections of other men towards God; hence it is said: “His praise shall be always in my mouth: let the meek hear and rejoice. O magnify the Lord with me.”1
Article II.—Ought singing to be employed in the divine praises?
R. Vocal praise is necessary to move man’s heart and raise it to God. And therefore all that can help to this purpose is properly employed in the divine praises. And therefore it was a wholesome institution to bring in singing into the divine praises, that the minds of the weak might be more stirred to devotion. Hence Augustine says: “I am led to approve of the custom of singing in church, that by the delight of the ears the weaker mind may rise to an affection of piety;” and he says of himself: “I wept at thy hymns and canticles, much moved by the voices of thy sweet-resounding church.”
§ 1. “Spiritual canticles”2 may mean, not only those that are inwardly sung in the spirit, but also those that are sung outwardly with the mouth, inasmuch as by such canticles devotion is called forth.
§ 2. Jerome when he says, “God is to be sung to, not with the voice, but with the heart,” is not absolutely condemning singing, but is rebuking those who sing in the church in a theatrical strain, not for the exciting of devotion, but for ostentation or to give pleasure.
§ 5. By singing of set purpose for pleasure, the mind is withdrawn from the consideration of the things that are sung. But if any one sings for devotion, he considers more attentively what is said, lingering longer upon the same phrase. And among the hearers, though some understand not what is sung, still they understand why it is sung, namely, to the praise of God; and this is enough to excite devotion.
[1 ]Psalm xxxiii. 2, 3, 4. For further reasons see Ethics and Natural Law, pp 194, 195. (Trl.)
[2 ]Coloss. iii. 16.