These seven carols picture for us the night Christ was born – the fear and wonder of the shepherds and the incredible experience of angels filling the night sky with glorious, wonderful songs of celebration. Many of these carols evoke in us pleasant memories of times past and present. These memories and feelings are a wonderful gift to us from God.
We will sing all verses, as each carol tells the story in a way unique to that author. Imagine what was going through their minds as they wrote. The only change is that on the first carol, The First Nowell, we will sing all six verses and then sing the refrain only after the sixth verse.
Please remain comfortably seated.
Hymn # 147 “The First Nowell” THE FIRST NOWELL
Sing the refrain after the last (sixth) verse only
A traditional English folk hymn, 1800’s or earlier.
Hymn # 118 “While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks” CHRISTMAS
Written in 1700 by Nahum Tate, an Irish poet and Poet Laureate of England.
Hymn # 135 “Rise Up Shepherds and Follow” FOLLOW
An African American spiritual, first written down in 1891.
Hymn # 143 “Angels, from the Realms of Glory” REGENT SQUARE
Written in 1816 by James Montgomery, a Scottish-born Moravian poet and hymnist.
Hymn # 113 “Angels We Have Heard on High” GLORIA
A traditional French carol, translated in 1860 by James Chadwick, an English bishop.
Hymn # 119 “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” MENDELSSOHN
Written in 1739 by Charles Wesley, a prolific writer of 6500 hymns and brother of John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist Church in England.
Hymn # 122 “Silent Night, Holy Night!” STILLE NACHT
Written in 1816 by Joseph Mohr for guitar in a small parish church in Austria.
Prayers of the People
. . . O Christ, our light
Hear Our Prayer
*The Lord’s Prayer (Sung)
Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heav’n,
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
for thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory,
forever and ever, Amen. Forever and ever, Amen.
Singing the Carols
We move to the manger. The authors catch for us the celebration which echoes across the entire universe, as well as the awe and angst of two young parents who are gazing upon new life.
*Hymn # 123 “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” CAROL
Written in 1849 by Edmund Hamilton Sears, a Unitarian pastor.
*Hymn # 145 “What Child Is This?” GREENSLEEVES
Written in 1871 by William Chatterton Dix, an English hymnist who was also manager of a maritime insurance company in Glasgow.
*Hymn # 115 “Away in a Manger” MUELLER
Anonymous text, first published in about 1885.
*Hymn # 132 “Good Christian Friends, Rejoice” IN DULCI JUBILO
A medieval Latin text translated to English in 1853 in England by John Mason Neale, an Anglican priest.