On Day 8 of our “Christmas Goodies”, we shall reflect on The Christmas Carols
WHAT IT IS?
Christmas Carols are special songs that are sung during the time of Christmas.
These songs are primarily about the Birth of Jesus – the time and context of His birth, the happiness and mirth associated with this solemnity and the various elements connected to the celebration of this Joyful Fest.
The word “Carol” comes from the Greek word “Choros” which means to “dance in a circle”. It also can mean “a song to go along with a song” from the old French word “Carole”
WHAT ELEMENTS CAN WE LEARN FROM THIS CHRISTMAS GOODIE -“THE CHRISTMAS CAROLS?”
- Carol singing is a participation with the Heavenly Choir of Angels
The announcement of the birth of Jesus was welcomed by music: “And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace to those on whom His favour rests” (Lk 2: 13-14)
The Church Militant (we, on earth) join the Church Triumphant (those enjoying the bliss of God) in glorifying and proclaiming the wonders of God
- Carol singing ought to keep the focus: of joining and fostering the True Spirit of Christmas.
Carol singing has survived many attempts to be stopped or even be totally banned.
The inception of Carol singing, was from the non-Christian practice of the celebration of the various seasons.
Many times, the early carols, were not scripture based; they were more music-oriented, sung from the streets and in the homes. As a result, many were sceptical of such singing, and even introduced bans and restrictions.
However, the joy associated with such singing revived the practise of Carol singing.
Therefore, a Carol truly becomes a Christmas Carol only when they are sung with Jesus as the focus, and intended towards participation in the heavenly joy
Any carol that is simply sung for the sake of having worldly fun or merely to “create noise, clamour and indulge in revelry” ought to be completely discouraged and avoided.
- Many of the Carols have beautiful history behind it – which can help us to sing the song with deeper meaning
Hark the Herald Angels Sing: The background of this song is how persons – one with secular purposes and one with religious motives, had their works combined, by a third person, to blend together one of the finest Carols
The Twelve Days of Christmas: It is a song, highly deep in imagery and rich in scriptural content – however, highly symbolic.
The Silent Night: It is probably the most performed Carol in history. It was written by an Austrian Priest, who was informed that the Church Organ was broken before Christmas. He couldn’t think of Christmas without music and so wrote “The Silent Night” – a carol that could be sung to guitar music.
- “He who sings, prays twice” is an old adage that ought to accompany every Carol
St Augustine said that “He who sings, prays twice”
Every Carol singing, ought to be made a prayer – in joy, in faith and in gratitude – for the marvellous providence of God to send a Saviour to redeem humanity.
- Carol singing becomes an occasion to come together
Singing of Carols ought to bring together people to share a family spirit, to celebrate their faith in the Lord and to instil the spirit of joy in the lives of many sad and weary souls.
Such singing also becomes an occasion to let go of any misunderstandings or conflicts and come together to share the same platform and sing, in unity, to the New-born Babe, the King of kings!
- Carol Singing ought to find resonance with the spirit of the Songs in the Bible
The Bible comprises a number of songs – the Psalms prominently being a compilation of many hymns.
Every hymn – a song for God – is sung in praise of God and bringing glory to Him.
Every Carol also ought to carry this important and vital dimension:
.. to be sung, not simply to have vain fun – but as a joyful medium to praise God
… to be sung, not just to have some “time-pass” – but as a reminder of the Grand Work of Salvation
- Every Carol also reminds us to prepare for heaven – where there will be an eternal praise of God
Singing of carols ought to be a sign of we being willing to prepare for Eternal Life in Heaven – where, we will be singing the praises of our Heavenly God. (Rev 14:3)
- The Carols that we sing also remind us of another “sad carol”
In the infancy narrative of Jesus, we also have the mention of the “killing of the innocent children, who were under the age of two, which led to their mothers weeping and wailing for them” (Mt 2:18)
The singing of the Carols should not take us away from the harsh realities of life – where there are many people who are singing the “sad carol” of poverty, hardships, oppression, sickness
The Carols should help us to also grow in our sensitivity towards them and thus reach out to them in mercy and compassion
WHAT RESOLUTIONS CAN I PRACTISE TODAY?
Today I will seek to make my life a Carol – singing the praises of God, in whatever I do and radiate joy and goodwill to all
Today I will seek to “mean what I sing/pray” – giving great importance to the fact that the Lord ought to be the motivation and centre of all that I do, and “giving glory to Him” will be the basis of all my actions
Lord, like the Christmas Carols, may my life be a joyful melody of gratitude for all Your Graces and Mercies, Amen!
MARANATHA – COME, LORD JESUS!
We welcome you into our hearts! God Bless!