Christmas Eve Services are a beautiful time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Just as the angels proclaimed the Good News of Christ’s Birth around 2000 years ago, Christians today gather on Christmas Eve to sing His praises and share the always relevant Good News. Some churches celebrate with traditional organs and choirs, some with guitars, still others with a capella voices alone. Here are five songs that you will usually hear at these services, sung by the congregations. .
Joy to the World The words to this beautiful carol were written by Isaac Watts. The music was arranged by Lowell Mason in 1836. This uplifting song proclaims the Lord’s arrival on earth and tells of His glorious reign and the “wonders of His love.”
Away in a Manger Although the author of the words of Away in a Manger is unknown, we do know that the music was composed by William Kirkpatrick in 1895. Certainly, people of all ages sing this song, but it is probably most often sung by young children due to its sweetness and simplicity. Many churches sing this songs as if it were a soft lullabye.
O Come, All Ye Faithful, by John Wade, is a call to worship the infant King. “O come let us adore Him” he implores to Christians, angels, shepherds and the Magi alike. “O Come, let us adore Him, Christ the Lord.” The imagery in this hymn will have you picturing the first night of Christ’s life here on the earth.
Angels We Have Heard on High is a traditional French carol arranged by Edwin S. Barnes. This beautiful song, with its weaving, intertwinging, harmonies, depicts the entire cast of angels, shepherds, and Mary and Joseph proclaiming the Glory of God on the night that Jesus was born. This is a hymn of celebration!
Silent Night, as the story goes, was a poem written by Joseph Mohr of Austria in 1816. The organ at Joseph’s Church supposedly broke on Christmas Eve, and Joseph gave his poem to a friend to complete. Franz Xavier Gruber compsed the music with the broken organ in mind and wrote instead for a simple guitar and voice. The music was finished in time for Christmas Eve Mass and is now sung by Christians around the world. It is frequently used to close the Christmas Eve service. As the congregation sings, they light candles in honor of their Risen Lord who was born on the earth as a tiny baby boy.
To learn more about Christ’s birth, or the Good News that He gave to the earth, visit your local church on Christmas or any time. For Lyrics and Midi files to these hymns and many others, visit www.cyberhymnal.org.