Ralph C. Schultz offers us this Appalachian folk song that proclaims the birth of Jesus. The beauty of the song is placed in an accessible setting for SAB choir with a descant for C or B-flat instruments. The music supports the events leading back to the memorable refrain.
Every Christmas tradition has an origin story, as do longtime favorite Christmas hymns. You may be surprised to discover what inspired three of your favorite holiday hymns: “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come,” “God Loves Me Dearly,” and “O Sing of Christ.” One of these hymns has roots in a folk song, another is tied to a rescue home for youth, and the third departs a bit from the typical themes of a Christmas hymn. Read on for more details about these holiday favorites from Eternal Anthems: The Story Behind Your Favorite Hymns!
When I was a child, my church always sang “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” on Christmas Day as the Communion elements were processed into the sanctuary. The congregation would start quietly and crescendo with each verse, serving to highlight the Lord’s Supper as the high point of the service. We would have the hymns printed in a bulletin, so I remember being surprised the first time I realized that this hymn is found in the Lord’s Supper section of the hymnal rather than the Christmas section.
A common complaint in our modern culture is the swiftness of time. It seems like every month we look at each other and ask, “Where did the last month go?” For church musicians, this is especially true during Advent as Christmas approaches, more closely followed than we might wish by Lent and Easter. It seems as though there is never enough time to adequately prepare our music and our hearts for each season.
David Maxwell has crafted nine extensive organ settings for Advent and Christmas in this collection. Maxwell uses a variety of styles ranging from introspective (W ZLOBIE LEZY) to strong and majestic (CONSOLATION). The collection also includes a joyful toccata of ANTIOCH and a lively swung setting of GO TELL IT. These settings will be enjoyable for all levels.
The First Noel is one of the final contributions to the Concordia Publishing House choral catalog by the late Carl F. Schalk (1929–2021). Schalk’s soaring tune and captivating setting of the beloved Christmas carol is set for SATB, strings, tubular bells, and timpani. Useful for concerts, services, and pageants, the piece is a processional carol. The new tune and unique combination of instrumentation will engage listeners and set the tone for concerts and worship.
This post is from Praise and Honor: Hymn Inspired Devotions.
“Where Shepherds Lately Knelt” is a remarkable gift, but it is easily missed because it is placed a third of the way into our hymnal’s Christmas section. …This hymn takes our doubts, weaknesses, and pains directly to the world’s key event, where we ponder its impact upon our lives and other people’s. Most of all, this remarkable hymn brings Christmas peace. …
I’m a rule follower.
I hate making decisions, and rules tell me exactly what I should do. They are easy to follow because I don’t need to think about anything. If it’s a rule, I follow it. All of this makes me a good sight-reader. To me, it’s comforting to know that all the notes and harmonies and rhythms are laid out there and simply need to be followed.
Did you know that one of the most famous Christmas hymns came about because a church’s organ broke just in time for Christmas Eve? Read on to learn about some of the season’s most well-known hymns.