Chapter 3

Sound & Spirit

In the mid-eighteenth century, Moravians devoted themselves to improvising hymns as a tangible representation of their commitment of body, mind, heart, and soul to the church. To be a Moravian meant to sing like a Moravian. Moravians believed that the vibratory power of song had the potential to connect community members directly with the Holy Spirit. There was little separation between the material and spiritual, the human and nonhuman.  Through song, buildings, fields, and forests became sounded, sacred spaces.  In each mission town, Moravian Christians actively shaped their vision of a life lived in song and a community filled with the spaces of the “spirit.”