The paper is to contribute to the description of language changes in the area of lexis. The subject of interest here are semantic archaisms: lexems and word groups which are not archaic with respect to the form but with respect to the meaning. Such archaisms are present, for instance, in the church songs of the 16th century. These songs are still sung during services nowadays. Are their texts properly understood by those who sing them? How do they understand the phrase “das gelobte Land” (promised land): as terra laudata or – in accordance with its etymology – terra promissa (the land promised by God) (the participle form is not derived from the verb loben but geloben)?