By Ralphine Major
We wait the entire year to hear them. They bring us joy and comfort. Yet, it has been amazing at the lack of Christmas carols I have heard this year. And of all years, we need to hear them now. Even though our family is not attending in-person church services during the COVID pandemic, we watch many services throughout the week on television and online.
The more I see and hear, the more I realize we did not know what we had growing up in our small, rural church.
I never thought I would see the day when the beloved Christmas carols would be missing in many American churches.
Are we losing the treasured and timeless Christmas carols like “O Holy Night,” “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” and “O Come All Ye Faithful?” For years they have been the foundation of the Christmas season. Most adults know the words and melodies of the beautiful Christmas hymns like “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
Such songs are familiar as they have become a part of our culture and heritage. Christmas is the season of “Silent Night” and “O Beautiful Star of Bethlehem.” When the music beckons us to sing “We Three Kings,” “Go, Tell it on the Mountain” or “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” there is hardly a need to open the hymn book.
Will our children and youth find the peace and joy in Isaac Watts’ “Joy to the World?” Will they know the words to classic carols like “The First Noel” or “Away in a Manger?” Will the timeless Christmas carols remain a tradition?
Words of Faith are found in scripture from the Christmas story in the Book of Luke which surely provided inspiration for the lyrics of many beloved Christmas carols.
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.” Luke 2:7 (KJV)