Ancient Churches Lexicon Entry:


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The most ancient people related celestial things to the province of the heart, and spiritual things to the province of the lungs. The province of the lungs included singing voices as well as the sounds of musical instruments (AC 418).

When the people of the Ancient Church gave glory to the Lord, they did so with songs, psalms, and various kinds of musical instruments. In doing this, they experienced a joy surpassing all other joys when calling to mind the Lord’s Advent and the salvation of the human race by Him (AC 8261). And people displayed their gladness of heart, not only by musical instruments and songs, but also by dancing; joyful feelings inside them burst forth into various activities of the body like singing and dancing (AC 8339).

These songs had an external meaning referring to worldly things such as enemies, battles, victories, and defeats. But they also had an internal meaning that embodied heavenly and Divine realities such as the damnation of the faithless and the salvation of the faithful. Those who knew the internal meaning of these songs felt an inner gladness while listening to them, but those who did not know the internal meaning experienced only an outward gladness. Moreover, the angels residing with these people gave glory to the Lord. Therefore, the singers and listeners experienced heavenly gladness as a result of the holy and blissful influence from heaven, so much so that it seemed to them that they were being transported into heaven (AC 8261).

The churches of ancient times made use of many kinds of musical instruments such as drums, lyres, flutes, harps, instruments of ten strings, and others. Drums, harps, and stringed instruments belonged to the group of instruments connected to spiritual things, while wind instruments belonged to the group connected to celestial things (AC 4138).

See also:

Advent of the Lord, Communication with the Spiritual World

Passages relating to Music and the Ancient Churches:

AC 418; AC 8261; AC 8339; AC 4138
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