The Christians, from the very outset, committed their theology and prayer to the form of the song. The hymnal elements in the New Testament are among the earliest of all strands, some of them composed within a decade of the death of Jesus. From the third century onwards it was their custom to light the lamps of the house when dusk fell, and sing a hymn, for the onset of evening marked the new liturgical day in the earliest centuries. This collection of some of the most charming of the hymns of the Early Church presents the original Greek and Latin verse with a facing translation and a pronunciation guide for the Byzantine Greek. They range from simple chants such as the Phos Hilaron, comparing Christ to the "cheerful light" of a lamp, to sophisticated pieces by some of the great rhetoricians such as Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, Synesios, and Romanos. This is a book that will delight both academic and church readerships.