It’s time for a new Worship Wednesdays post, so let’s delve into the holiday occasion of Christmas and the types of carols I listen to the most during December time!
It’s that time of year again…where the Christmas celebrations start. Actually they start in September/October, but anyway. Can you believe that Christmas is 3 weeks away? The year has definitely flown by! Anyway, though I believe that Christmas is a wonderful, blessed and the most special time of the year alongside Easter, as believers are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour; sometimes I find it distracting that as early as September, the stores light up their establishments with Christmas lights and decorations, and many turkeys, puddings, tinsel, trees and other ornaments are sold. Ads on TV or at the cinemas for Christmas themed movies are also released, and in the CCM industry, Christmas albums release early as well.
Nevertheless worshipping when we are reminded about Jesus’ birth is as easy as breathing, at least to me. While I have noticed that there are two kinds of carols- the holiday mainstream songs focusing on family and the ‘spirit’ of Christmas (such as songs like “The Christmas Song” and “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year”) and the more worshipful anthems; the tracks that personally resonate to me are the ones that overtly remind me of the real reason for the season. While the ‘mainstream’ carols are fine if you want to be happy for a bit and be reminded about family and spending the holidays with them; to me nothing tops the occasion than listening to worshipful songs during Christmas!
Though sometimes I think that thinking of Christmas 3 months early is a bit much, it’s a fact of life that has been embraced by and engrained in our culture over the past few years. And it sure helps me accept the earliness of listening to Christmas music when worship songs are sung. One of the songs that has time and time again resonated with me every year, and actually all year round, is the song “O Holy Night”!
Recorded by many artists over many years and decades, including Rend Collective, Kari Jobe, Phil Wickham, Carrie Underwood, Matthew West, Point Of Grace, Lincoln Brewster, Mandisa, Rachael Lampa and Third Day; the serene reflective worship anthem is as celebratory to Jesus as can be, as we passionately and ardently declare God’s goodness and sovereignty.
Arguably the most well-known traditional Christmas carol, the fact that the track has been covered so many times may make us all groan every time we come across a new cover of the track. We may groan and say ‘Why this song? Why “O Holy Night” which has been covered a gazillion times?’. But for me, every version is different, and every version has its place. Every version brings something unique to the table, and I am shown a different part of the song every single time.
As we hear version after version, and each artist belting out the lyrics with fervour and passion, especially the haunting and chilling words of the chorus ‘…fall on your knees, oh hear the angel voices, o night divine, o night when Christ was born…’, I am amazed at the power of the song to transcend years. No matter how many Christmases I have had the pleasure of experiencing, this song tops the list every time in enjoyability, most because of the ability to worship in this track. If you are not convinced by this song, I encourage you to listen again, who knows, you might find your new favourite Christmas carol of the year!
Below is the most impacting phrase of the song in my opinion, and a video of my favourite version of the song. Check it out and let me know what you think of the song? Is this your favourite carol? If not, let me know what it is!
O Holy Night:
Most impacting phrase- Fall on your knees, oh, hear the angel voices
O night divine, the night when Christ was born
O night divine, o night, o night divine
Favourite version: Kari Jobe