For the past few weeks, Christmas music has become a regular part of our aural experience. We are now hearing all the usual familiar carols and songs in the stores, in various offices, and in the elevator! Those tidings of joy seem to be everywhere in our secular world. The lovely tunes and cheerful words seem to touch us all in a common place – in our most basic place. Popular Christmas music meets a large segment of the population “where we are”. We are all in need of a simple – easy to manage – message that brings out the best in us.
As you probably know, many of us church musicians promote the idea approaching Christmas by means of observing and understanding the season of Advent. As you also know, many liturgical hard-liners are completely frustrated in any efforts to stave off the full celebration of Christmas until December 24! (Getting through Lent without Alleluias is easy by comparison.) And ultimately, I will concede that it might be acceptable (and realistic) to be reminded of “the goal” with Christmas music even while we are in the time period called Advent.
This Sunday, our Chancel Choir with orchestra, with perform music composed for – – – – Christmas. We are looking forward to lighting the hearth of your heart with the joy music of Christ’s birth.
Here is a short excerpt from Vaughan Williams’s “Fantasia on Christmas Carols”:
This is the truth sent from above
The truth of God, the god of love
Therefore don’t turn me from your door
But hearken all both rich and poor
The first thing which I will relate
Is that God did man create
The next thing which to you I’ll tell
Woman was made with man to dwell
Then after this was God’s own choice
To place them both in paradise
There to remain from evil free
Except they ate of such a tree
And they did eat which was a sin
And thus their ruin did begin
Ruined themselves, both you and me
And all of their posterity
Thus we were heirs to endless woes
Till God the Lord did interpose
And so a promise soon did run
That he would redeem us by his son.