This Christmas, instead of filling your mind with songs like, “Rocking Around the Christmas Tree” and “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer“, why not add a touch of nostalgia and joyful toe-tapping music to your festivities? Bring out the epic, the madrigal, the joyful, and the majestic in replacement for the jazzy, shallow Christmas music of today.
Today, as I will be sharing a sampler of our favorite Christmas music, remember that some of the best memories of Christmas with family are those times cuddled on the couch reading the Christmas story, smelling the aromas of turkey and scones in the oven, and listening to the timeless classics that have been sung throughout the ages.
“Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence“ is one of our family’s favorite Christmas hymns. Written in the 4th century AD, this is an ancient chant of Eucharistic devotion based on words from Habakkuk 2:20, “Let all the earth keep silence before him.”
This song is from O Come All Ye Faithful, a beautiful hardcover book of the stories behind great Christmas carols and an accompanying CD by John MacArthur, Joni Eareckson Tada, and the Wolgemuths. You can get it on Amazon for just over four dollars!
Growing up, some of my fondest memories are centered around Christmas music by Mannheim Steamroller. “Fum, Fum, Fum” is one of my favorites, and reminds me of the joys of family celebration, games, laughter, and reunited family members.
My Mother and I agree that our favorite Christmas carol is “What Child Is This” (also known as “Greensleeves”), and we love the madrigal experience that Mannheim Steamroller creates on their album A Fresh Aire Christmas.
“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, written in the mid 1700′s, was mentioned in Charles Dicken’s A Christmas Carol in 1843, “…at the first sound of — ‘God bless you, merry gentlemen! May nothing you dismay!’— Scrooge seized the ruler with such energy of action that the singers fled in terror, leaving the keyhole to the fog and even more congenial frost.” This one is sung by Joni Eareckson Tada on her album Whiter Than Snow.
One snowy December, my Mother and I were driving home after a grocery run. This song was playing on our local radio station, and its beauty took our breath away. We hurried to find paper and pen to jot down the information when it was given at the end of the song. Enjoy “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Selah on their album Rose of Bethlehem.
“Joy Has Dawned” is a modern Christmas carol by Keith and Kristyn Getty, some of my favorite artists. Their hymns are always so full of truth with a masterful melody and musical quality. Unlike most Christmas albums that are filled with the same Christmas carols just sung in a different way, Joy! An Irish Christmas has many new Christmas carols written by the Gettys. These are sure to become favorites!
Probably my favorite Christmas album is The Promise by Michael Card. My first memory is of my mother singing his lullabies to me. Michael Card has such a depth of theology in his music, and the accompanying harmonies and rich sounds added together give these pieces almost hymn-like quality. Today, I will share “Immanuel” with you. And I have yet to make up my mind which other one I shall share with you next week.
Be keeping an eye out for Part 2 in this series. And in the meantime, share a favorite Christmas song or two!
“Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world”. ~ Martin Luther
To read part two, follow this link.