Welcome to the December Eve Party, y’all! This is hosted by the lovely Lily @ Lillian Keith, and I am so excited to participate. This fun event will extend over two days—November 30 and December 1—so be sure to check back tomorrow for my second post!
The idea is to share songs from three different prompts. I chose to share only two songs but pick 6 prompts. Look at me, rebelling for once. ;P
As a child, I wasn’t familiar with English carols, but I adored the French ones! My favourite has always been Noël, ô doux mystère (Christmas, o sweet mystery). I can’t find a sung version but here’s the tune!
It’s a beautiful hymn about how Christmas is about Light and Hope and healing for broken hearts. ❤ My favourite stanza is the third. Here’s a translation:
Christmas! o sweet mystery:
God incarnated Himself!
Heaven descends on earth:
The Son of Man is born.
It’s for us that He abandons
His glorious throne.
See how He humbles Himself
To open Heaven up to us.
Christmas! o great miracle:
The Creating Verb
Comes be born without prestige
Like a humble servant.
In our poor world
He set up His tent—
News without a greater one
For all the broken hearts.
Christmas! sudden light
Which in our soul shines!
Towards Christ the star leads
The one who walks in the night.
We follow another path
When we have seen Jesus.
The heart bounds with joy;
Never is it disappointed!
Christmas! joyful message
For all, small and great.
Let us sing from age to age
Such an event.
Let us tell the marvellousness
Of such love,
For it is without parallel
In our humanity.
Another favourite was Écoutez! un saint cantique (Listen! a Holy Song).
I can’t pick which verse is my favourite 🙂
Listen! a holy song
Has just burst out in the heavens.
It’s a magnificent hymn,
It’s a simple and joyous song.
The voices that travel through space
Say to surprised humans:
“The law gives place to grace,
And Moses to Jesus Christ.”
The promise is accomplished,
Salvation is given to us.
In Christ, God reconciles
His justice and His goodness.
The hour of deliverance
For the captives has rung;
It’s the new alliance:
The Christ Child is born to us.
And suddenly, piercing the veil
Of the stormy firmament,
The new sparkle of a star
Throws its fires towards Judah.
The Magi, at its light,
Hurry from the East;
And to give glory to the Father,
They go worship the Child.
This Jesus is our Brother;
He lived among us,
He took our misery;
Sinners, He died for us!
His love envelops us,
He wants to reign on our hearts;
Let us know how to accept His grace:
Jesus, be our Saviour!
I’m not a fan of contemporary songs, but there’s something about these two that just get me.
Mary, Did You Know? is just so sweet and reflective and really reminds us of the Godliness yet humanity of Jesus Christ.
Mary, did you know that your baby boy
Would save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy
Has come to make you new?
This child that you delivered,
Will soon deliver you…
And then the Carol of the Bells is just iconic and beautiful and Christmassy and yessssss <33
Hark how the bells,
Sweet silver bells,
All seem to say:
“Throw cares away
Christmas is here
Bringing good cheer
To young and old…”
I’m quite a fan of instrumental Christmas music! I had to pick only two today but here’s two of my favs. Amanda Tero did a lot of Christmas carols and she is an amazing pianist! This melody was composed by her and the words written by her sister. You can read them here.
Joy and love, peace and hope;
Christmas is a gift – God’s gift to us.
And then I had to shout out God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen (yes, the comma is intentional, because God rest you merry is a phrase) because it’s one of my very favourite carols!
God rest you merry, gentlemen,
Let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Saviour
Was born on Christmas-day
To save poor souls from Satan’s power,
When we were gone astray…
I love curling up in blankets on a cold winter night in warm lamplight (alas for a fireplace!) and listening to Christmas carols while reading a good novel. Here are two of the coziest I know…
Candlelight, angel light, firelight and star-glow
Shine on his cradle ’til breaking of dawn.
Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo!
Angels are singing, ‘The Christ child is born.’
And then this traditional French Christmas carol: Il est né, le Divin Enfant (He is born, the Divine Child). I sang this all my life and it is such a fun, pretty carol with so much history! This carol has a lot of different verses, and I’m in the midst of learning more. ;P
Chorus: He is born, the Divine Child!
Play, oboes! Ring out, bagpipes!
He is born, the Divine Child!
Let us all sing His coming!
For over four thousand years
The prophets have been promising Him to us;
For over four thousand years,
We’ve been waiting for this happy time. (Chorus)
The Saviour that the world awaits
For every man is the true light.
The Saviour that the world awaits
Is light for all the living. (Chorus)
May He come back at the end of time
Lead us to the joy of the Father;
May He come back at the end of time
And may He reign eternally! (Chorus)
For this section I’m going to shoutout songs that seldom make it onto Christmas lists—at least from what I’ve seen.
or maybe I just want to talk about two more of my top favs
The first one is I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. Few people sing the whole thing but it’s really a gorgeous poem! It’s also sung to a couple different tunes. This one might be my favourite version.
Then rang the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep.
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on Earth, good will to men.”
And the next is one I only discovered last year through a friend, but it is beautiful and has such lovely words…
Still the earth in darkness lies,
Up from death’s dark vale arise,
Voices of a world in grief,
Prayers of men who seek relief.
Now our darkness pierce again.
“Peace on earth, good will to men.”
Now, I am a huge fan of the old carols, as I mentioned before. It’s very hard to pick just two (I haven’t even mentioned O Little Town of Bethlehem yet!!), but I think this is my second-favourite ever…
But with the woes of sin and strife
The world has suffered long;
Beneath the angel-strain have rolled
Two thousand years of wrong;
And man, at war with man, hears not
The love-song which they bring; –
Oh hush the noise, ye men of strife,
And hear the angels sing!
And my very favourite Christmas carol of all… As you may have noticed, I love the themes of hope, joy, peace, light, freedom, and new life in Christmas carols, and this one has them all. And the tune is so reverent and glorious… ❤
O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
‘Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn…
That’s right, it’s O Holy Night (YouTube won’t let me embed the video so click on the title to be redirected to it).
Well, I hope you guys enjoyed that glimpse into my favourite carols and maybe listen to (and love!) some of them yourselves. 🙂 Don’t forget to head over to Lillian Keith’s for the rest of the party! And tell me what your favourite Christmas carols are 🙂