Singing hymns and carols is a major part of the Christmas tradition all over the world.
These songs help to usher in the spirit of Christmas as we praise the glory of our Savior.
William Sandys’ made a compilation of Christmas Carols in 1833. This compilation featured several Christmas hymns that we still sing today. Another major contributor to these hymns is the Christmas Carol publication of 1871 by Sir John Stainer and Henry Ramsden Bramley.
We have chosen five hymns from these vast selections of hymns that you can include in your Christmas service.
Favorite Hymns for Christmas
As you plan your Christmas service, here are some of our favorite hymns that you can include:
O Holy Night
This hymn carries the very spirit of Christmas. You could almost get teary when you hear it at a mall or grocery store in the days leading to Christmas. It was composed by John Sullivan Dwight, Placide Cappeau, and Adolphe Charles Adam. While Cappeau wrote the song in French, Adam put together the musical score. Dwight did an incredible job of translating the hymn into English.
This hymn shows us the importance of Jesus Christ to the peace that we crave. The words of the hymn tell us that the main solution to man’s problems is the Prince of Peace. It also tells us that by the name Jesus Christ, every oppression shall cease. What better words to spur hope in this season? Below are some words to remind you of this hymn:
“O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.”
The First Noel
“Noel” is a word that has become synonymous with Christmas over the years. It is drawn from the Latin word “Natalis” and it means “birthday.” December 25 is the day that may across the world celebrate the birth of the Messiah and this song buttresses this fact.
The First Noel speaks of the announcement of Jesus’ birth by the angels to the shepherds. It also tells of the announcement to the wise men. Finally, it invites us all to worship God that created everything that we see from nothing. Below are a few words from “The First Noel:”
“The first Noel the angel did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay;
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep,
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel,
born is the King of Israel.”
Joy to the World
Joy to the World is one of the most popular Christmas hymns but there is a very important story behind this hymn. Do you know that when Isaac Watts, the father of hymns, wrote this hymn it wasn’t intended for Christmas? He wrote this hymn to celebrate the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Regardless, we have since taken “Joy to the World” as a Christmas hymn. After all, we wouldn’t know about the Second coming without the first. The hymn still fits the idea of Christmas and helps us understand who we are celebrating in this season. Here are some of the words of this blessed hymn:
“Joy to the world! The Lord is come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare him room
And heaven and nature sing.”
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Phillip Brooks wrote this hymn, it was for the children’s choir in his church. When you listen to the music alone, it moves the heart because of the amazing melody. It is even more mind-blowing when you consider the fact that it was put together in one night. Lewis Redner, the church organist, woke up with the melody in his head after struggling for a while to find the best tune for the lyrics.
Redner quickly penned the music down and returned to his sleep. He completed the harmony in the morning on his way to church. According to him, neither he nor Brooks thought the song would go as far as it did.
It is almost not Christmas if you haven’t heard “Silent Night.” This hymn is very popular and it was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber in 1818. Several singers have performed this hymn in different genres over the years. Below are the lyrics of the first verse of this hymn:
“Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
’round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
sleep in heavenly peace,
sleep in heavenly peace.”
That’s it for our top five hymns to include in your Christmas service. What are your favorite Christmas hymns? Please share them with us in the comments section. Meanwhile, kindly check out ChurchPad for articles regarding church administration.