Twelve Hymns for the Twelve Days of Christmas

Merry Christmas! What a joy to know that the Church’s Christmas song continues through the next eleven days. Enjoy these twelve hymns as you rejoice in the Savior’s birth!

Day 1: “Joy to the World”

Joy to the World: Three Settings on Antioch by Jacob B. Weber»

Day 2: “By All Your Saints in Warfare”

Though this isn’t a traditional Christmas hymn, the second day of Christmas is also the day of the Feast of St. Stephen, the first martyr. As the Church remembers Christ’s birth for our salvation, we also look forward to the day when we, like Stephen and all the faithful, will be welcomed into our heavenly home.

Gates of Beauty: Six Hymn Settings for Organ by Benjamin Kolodziej»

Day 3: “Go Tell It on the Mountain”

Go Tell It on the Mountain by John A. Behnke»

Day 4: “O Jesus Christ, Thy Manger Is”

The fourth day of Christmas is also the day we remember the Holy Innocents, the young boys who were martyred after the Christ Child’s birth. In light of that tragedy, this beautiful hymn helps us recall Christ’s work and the hope of paradise.

Day 5: “From Heaven Above to Earth I Come”

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come (Bach/Leavitt)»

Day 6: “All My Heart Again Rejoices” 

This hymn text by Paul Gerhardt beautifully conveys the joy of the Christmas season. The fifth stanza particularly articulates the work of our humble King, whose birth and life bring salvation to the world:

Softly from His lowly manger
   Jesus calls
   One and all,
“You are safe from danger.
Children, from the sins that grieve you
   You are freed;
   All you need
I will surely give you.”

Day 7: “What Child Is This”

Repeat the Sounding Joy: Five Christmas Tunes for Trumpet and Organ by Sondra K. Tucker»

Day 8: “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt”

On the eighth day of Christmas, the Church also observes the Circumcision and Name of Jesus. As we reflect upon the Lord’s name today, we remember that He came to fulfill the Law and the Prophets. Stanza three from the hymn “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt” helps us in this reflection with the following words:

How should I not have known Isaiah would be there,
His prophecies fulfilled? With pounding heart I stare:
A child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me,
A child, a son, the Prince of Peace for me.
Hymn text © 1986 Concordia Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Day 9: “Once in Royal David’s City”

Once in Royal David’s City by Dan R. Edwards»

Day 10: “O Sing of Christ”

Hymnwriter Stephen P. Starke weaves together a variety of scriptural themes in this hymn, which is set to the tune FOREST GREEN. The first stanza hearkens back to the Christmas Day reading from John 1 as we remember Christ is indeed the Word made flesh who made His dwelling among us.

Day 11: “Now Sing We, Now Rejoice”

Duo Baroque: Classic Chorale Preludes Arranged for Keyboard and Any Solo Instrument, Vol. 3 by Benjamin M. Culli»

Day 12: “Of the Father’s Love Begotten”

On this final day of Christmas, we remember that the Christ Child born in Bethlehem is indeed King of kings and Lord of lords, begotten of the Father from all eternity. As the Christmas season comes to a close and we look forward to Epiphany, we remember the eternal victory that Christ won for us by His life, death, and resurrection.

Of the Father's Love Begotten (Machemer)»

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