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Hymns

There are various references in the New Testament to the use of hymns, such as in the account of the Last Supper (Matt. 26:30), where the hymn would be part of the Hallel (Ps. 113–18; Acts 4:24; 16:25; 1 Cor. 14:15, 26; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; James 5:13). Psalmody and hymnody were highly developed in the religious services of the Jews and were thus easily continued in Christian worship. The Gospel hymns, such as the Magnificat (Luke 1:46–55), the Benedictus (1:68–79), the Gloria in Excelsis (2:14), and the Nunc Dimittis (2:29–32), have from early times been used in public worship.