I love Christmas carols. To be fair, I love music. All kinds of music. And the nice thing about seasonal music is that, unlike, say, Unchained Melody or Pachelbel’s Canon in D, it tends not to be played ad nauseum year-round. Some of it may be played ad nauseum in season, but eventually, the season changes, and we may end up missing the tunes, so good music doesn’t get ruined from over-playing.
I especially love brass. Christmas and brass, they go together for me. Not just because I played french horn when I was younger. I probably played french horn because I liked brass so much. That and I wanted to be a hunt master, but that’s another blog.
Anyway, I love the sound of brass playing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and many other Christmas tunes. And then there are the bells. There ought to be bells for Christmas. Especially for Carol of the Bells. And I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.
A friend recently asked on Facebook what people’s favorite Christmas carols, hymns, and songs are and why. I think about this every year – more now that I’ve been involved in planning worship. When I was young, it was only about the music. The music, in itself, is a wonderful thing, don’t get me wrong. But now I’m also interested in the message and the theology.
So my favorite Christmas carols now have a lot to do with the combination of theology, overall message, and music. For example, in I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day, the third and fourth verses sing of despair about the state of the world and how humanity is not living into the Kingdom of God, and then how God is not dead and that right will indeed prevail, so we should keep faith (and keep working).
The third verse of O, Holy Night is truly radical:
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name
- The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: Day Two – Snuggly Doves (thewidowsmiteyblog.wordpress.com)
- The Twelve Blogs of Christmas: First Day – The Whole Family Tree (thewidowsmiteyblog.wordpress.com)