Preparing for Worship - Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, 2016
Join us this weekend for our traditional Lessons and Carols Candlelight Service and for our Christmas Day service. Details can be seen in the image above. Our full liturgy for Christmas Eve can be found here. Our full liturgy for Christmas Day can be found here. Here are the songs we'll sing together for Christmas Day:
1. O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL
Style: We will be singing the traditional version of this hymn, though perhaps at a more up-tempo pace than you may have heard in the past.
Song Info: This song works well as a Call To Worship during the advent season because it is announcing that the advent of the kingdom of God has come and calling all of those who have been faithfully waiting for it to come and witness what God has done. The writing of the lyrics are attributed to John Francis Wade in 1751. This hymn was originally sung in Latin.
2. THE FIRST NOEL
Style: We will sing the traditional version of this hymn. The tempo will be slow.
Song Info: "Noel" literally means "birthday". The song recounts the story of the very first announcements of the birth of our Lord. The song reminds us of the humble estate of Jesus. He is worthy to rule over us because he knows what it's like to be poor and overlooked. The author of the lyrics remains anonymous but the music was composed by John Stainer in 1833.
3. HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING
Style: We will play the original version of this song. It is mid-tempo, choral, and joyful.
Song Info: This hymn was penned by Charles Wesley in 1739. The lyrics that we have today were slightly altered by Wesley's contemporary, the great preacher George Whitfield. Mendelssohn composed the music. This song was written to be a hymn for Christmas Day. Below is a "missing verse" not often sung but precious nonetheless:
Come, Desire of Nations, come,
Fix in us thy heav'nly Home;
Rise the Woman's conqu'ring Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent's Head.
Adam's Likeness now efface,
Stamp thy Image in its Place;
Second Adam from above,
Work it in us by thy Love.
4. LET ALL MORTAL FLESH KEEP SILENCE
Style: We will play the traditional version of this hymn. It is a slow tempo.
Song Info: This hymn, in one way or another, dates back to the fifth century. It is one of the oldest surviving Christian hymns, possibly dating even earlier to AD 275. It was originally written in Greek to be a eucharistic hymn. Though it has come to be recognized as a Christmas song, it's true emphasis is on the Lord's Supper. That's why we'll sing it on Sunday before celebrating the sacrament. We will also likely sing it at other times of the year, as well.
5. JOY TO THE WORLD
Style: We will play the original version of this song. It is up-tempo, peppy, and joyful.
Song Info: This song was penned by Isaac Watts in 1719 and appeared in his collection The Psalms of David. This valuable volume was Watts' attempt to set the Psalms to rhyme and meter while at the same time Christianizing the language of the Psalms. This particular tune is based on Psalm 98:4-9. Psalm 98 is a hymn of thanksgiving to the God who comes to judge the earth. According to this Psalm, God has made his salvation known among the nations and all of creation is to praise him for it. This is what we sing in Joy to the World.