What’s your favorite carol?

Q: What’s the only place in our culture where music from centuries ago is played everywhere, enjoyed by everyone, and even re-recorded by pop stars year after year? A: Christmas carols. Which got me thinking, which one is the BEST?

Sure this may sound like a cheap ploy to get you to read my blog. But there’s another reason. These songs contain some rich expressions of faith that can be an anchor for us in our everyday world. The lyrics get stuck in our head, and the message gets buried in our hearts. Sounds like a good combination.

So at the risk of offending most of you, here’s my (current) favorite carol. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. The lyrics contain SO MUCH truth about the person and mission of Jesus, including the impact his arrival (advent) would have in our world and our lives. Check this out:

O come, O come, Emmanuel

And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times did’st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

So now it’s your turn. What’s YOUR favorite Christmas carol? Preferably one that’s been around at least 100 years. Use the comment section below. And be glad this isn’t MySpace, or you’d be listening to my song right now! 

-Pastor Mark

P.S. Hope to see you this Sunday as we continue learning how to live “The Great ADVENTure.”


Posted on December 5, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” is indeed an excellent carol and teaching of history and promised future.

    Once there was a teenage music student named Tutor, whose aunt by the same name had taught me English a few years before, and he told me the story of “What Child Is This?” and “Greensleeves.” The former is our carol of joy of the coming king, and the latter resembles many of God’s complaints against Israel for his people’s unfaithfulness that are recounted repeatedly by the Prophets. Played on the harp, violin, flute, or organ, it is indeed beautiful, and it is joyful to hum or whistle, too. I am not sure that these are all the right lyrics, but maybe later I will tell you more of the joy and mystery to me:

    1. What Child is this who, laid to rest
    On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
    Whom Angels greet with anthems sweet,
    While shepherds watch are keeping?

    This, this is Christ the King,
    Whom shepherds guard and Angels sing;
    Haste, haste, to bring Him laud,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary.

    2. Why lies He in such mean estate,
    Where ox and ass are feeding?
    Good Christians, fear, for sinners here
    The silent Word is pleading.

    Nails, spear shall pierce Him through,
    The cross be borne for me, for you.
    Hail, hail the Word made flesh,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary.

    3. So bring Him incense, gold and myrrh,
    Come peasant, king to own Him;
    The King of kings salvation brings,
    Let loving hearts enthrone Him.

    Raise, raise a song on high,
    The virgin sings her lullaby.
    Joy, joy for Christ is born,
    The Babe, the Son of Mary.


  2. Hard to choose just one, but if I had to, it would be “Joy To The World”

  3. My hundred-year-old CHRISTmas caol goes to the true beginining of hope – O Holy Night. We all would be lost without the “new and glorious morn” that we are offered through the birth and resurrection of Christ. It all began that holy night. I absolutely love the chorus and the volume on my radio can’t play it loud enough.

    O Holy Night
    The stars are brightly shining
    It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth
    Long lay the world in sin and error pining
    ‘Til He appeared and the soul felt it’s worth
    A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
    For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

    Fall on your knees
    O hear the Angels voices.
    O night divine O night when Christ was born
    O night divine O night divine
    O night divine.

    My not-one-hundred-year-old favorit carol is “Happy Birthday Jesus” because it is all about Him!!!

    Happy birthday, Jesus
    I’m so glad it’s Christmas
    All the tinsel and lights
    And the presents are nice
    But the real gift is You

    Happy birthday, Jesus
    I’m so glad it’s Christmas
    All the carols and bells
    Make the holiday swell
    And it’s all about You

    Happy birthday, Jesus
    Jesus I love You

  4. Of course, as a drummer, my favorite is “Little Drummer Boy” about a young boy who doesn’t have alot of money but he can play the drums and he uses his talents to give the best gift that he can to the newborn King.

    BUT, it’s not one hundred years old so I’ll go with a traditional Irish carol “The Wexford Carol” (“Carúl Loch Garman” or “Carúl Inis Córthaidh”) dating back to the 12th century. It’s a simple retelling of the Christmas story but very powerful still (my favorite version is from Moya Brennan’s album “An Irish Christmas”). Here are the lyrics:

    Good people all, this Christmas time,
    Consider well and bear in mind
    What our good God for us has done
    In sending his beloved son
    With Mary holy we should pray,
    To God with love this Christmas Day
    In Bethlehem upon that morn,
    There was a blessed Messiah born

    The night before that happy tide
    The noble Virgin and her guide
    Were long time seeking up and down
    To find a lodging in the town
    But mark right well what came to pass
    From every door repelled, alas
    As was foretold, their refuge all
    Was but a humble ox’s stall

    Near Bethlehem did shepherds keep
    Their flocks of lambs and feeding sheep
    To whom God’s angel did appear
    Which put the shepherds in great fear
    Arise and go, the angels said
    To Bethlehem, be not afraid
    For there you’ll find, this happy morn
    A princely babe, sweet Jesus, born

    With thankful heart and joyful mind
    The shepherds went the babe to find
    And as God’s angel had foretold
    They did our Saviour Christ behold
    Within a manger he was laid
    And by his side a virgin maid
    Attending on the Lord of Life
    Who came on earth to end all strife

    There were three wise men from afar
    Directed by a glorious star
    And on they wandered night and day
    Until they came where Jesus lay
    And when they came unto that place
    Where our beloved Messiah lay
    They humbly cast them at his feet
    With gifts of gold and incense sweet.

  5. Hark! the Herald Angels Sing, Charles Wesley’s carol, heralds the supremely implausible event of the hosts of heaven choosing to serenade from all possible audiences, a bunch of shepherds. They have no further part in the Bible, save this: they and only they could complete the circle of those adoring the King born in a manger. The more acceptable audiences would have been out of place in that stable. “… He humbled himself… Phil 2:8.

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