Christmas Carols Annotated!

Maybe next year I’ll do a kids candlelight service, we can include charlie brown and Grinch music…holiday readings from classic tales….wouldn’t that be awesome?

katyandtheword

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I like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Winter Wonderland.

But…..I prefer Christmas Carols, possibly because they are so seldom played that they are not on the radio and retail venues everywhere…

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen: This is not in my Presbyterian hymnal–it is also seriously undersung (ie its considered a carol but never included Christmas Eve  and is only occasionally on the pop albums). Although the sexist words (ugh) the TAKE HEART lyrics make me super, super happy….

Away in the Manger: The other lullaby (you know not Silent Night), the second verse is my favorite…where I tend to change lowing to Mooing and “no crying” to lotsa crying (because that’s what makes sense, Jesus was fully human after all).

Hark the Herald Angels Sing: reconciliation and healing in his wings…..maybe my favorite carol…….maybe

Angels We Have Heard On High: GLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The First Noel: I love, love, love the…

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Christmas Carols Annotated!

i-6a8365da47646339a9ba430f27a82529-whos_singing.png

I like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Winter Wonderland.

But…..I prefer Christmas Carols, possibly because they are so seldom played that they are not on the radio and retail venues everywhere…

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen: This is not in my Presbyterian hymnal–it is also seriously undersung (ie its considered a carol but never included Christmas Eve  and is only occasionally on the pop albums). Although the sexist words (ugh) the TAKE HEART lyrics make me super, super happy….

Away in the Manger: The other lullaby (you know not Silent Night), the second verse is my favorite…where I tend to change lowing to Mooing and “no crying” to lotsa crying (because that’s what makes sense, Jesus was fully human after all).

Hark the Herald Angels Sing: reconciliation and healing in his wings…..maybe my favorite carol…….maybe

Angels We Have Heard On High: GLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

The First Noel: I love, love, love the melody of this

What Child Is This?: um…a carol that asks a million questions—feels genuine to me!

Good King Wenceslas: I don’t actually know all the words to this, yet when people are caroling in movies this is what they sing (perhaps because it feels all medieval)

Ding Dong Merrily On High: played somewhat on the radio (must not be too Christian), it sounds like bells. I’m kind of Meh about it….the tune is fun, but I guess it isn’t ingrained in my bones the way other carols are.

O Come All Ye Faithful: Love the invitational message of this song (always sing it during Advent, notice that this can also totally be an advent song?)

O Little Town of Bethlehem: A great tune sung by pop artists because of its beauty…..not so singable for congregations although well known enough we can fake it 🙂

Carol of the Bells: Perhaps the replacement for Ding, Dong Merrily on High?, the words are mood are similar. I definitely like the tune of this better….

Good Christian Men Rejoice: Very similar to God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, a little sexist, but deep lyrics “need not fear the grave” and lots of rejoicing.

Wassail: Simple, repetitive, yet really full of Christmas caroling spirit

O Come, O Come Emmanuel: Yay! Advent mysteriousness!

O Holy Night: BEAUTIFUL, wish we didn’t confine this to soloists….everyone has a right to belt this out, off key and all!

Silent Night: Candlelight, love the 2nd verse…I always raise my candle for the “love’s true light” verse…there’s a mysterious, random fourth verse that no one sings (and I actually do feel its useless)

Joy to the World: YAY! The other alternative for ending the Christmas Eve Service….not that we ever do…but it totally could and of course….its not necessarily just a Christmas song

Christmastime is Here: Wish we adopted this as a carol we sing in church…the message is sound, and maybe if church’s sang newer beautiful songs, then….well we wouldn’t have saved the church, but our Christmas Eve will be richer for it (yes Charlie Brown)

Welcome Christmas: Ditto, “Fahoo Fores Dahoo Dores” words so carol sounding, people tried to translate it……….(yes its Grinch)

I Need a Silent Night: The very new Amy Grant Song……self-references carols, def. worth checking it out.

What’s Good about Church

I know the church is theoretically dying, that its full of old people, judgmental and is out of date….but here is what I like about church

1. The Music<–need I say more, no where else am I permitted to belt out the hymns I know, sort of know and fake knowing with no commentary on my performance and more commentary on how “fun” the music is!!!

2. Insta-Community: Its not perfect, but this is an intergenerational community that intentionally hangs out once a week, and (in better situations) more. Moving to a new community, church is still a great way to feel supported!

3. Sabbath: The rest of my life seems to be about “me” “my situation” and “where we are right now” from monetary woes to relationship troubles to personal epiphanies (yay), the church is a place to take a rest from myself and take Sabbath, to focus on the community.

4. Hope and Joy: Very few places are a haven to practice hope. It is much easier to critique society and the people within it then to intentionally practice hope (even while we acknowledge our deeply rooted brokenness and imperfections). The demands to be perfect are WORLDY, the celebration of life to be  joyful and hopeful are Christian (i.e. Good news! For more on this read my LOL Pastor post)…We not only confess what is true now, but hope, pray and preach of the community that can and will be thru Christ….think about that.

5. We are a bunch of like-minded people striving to experience something different: Most churches are 99% one race and 1% another. Yet, even though we aren’t good at it, and even though churches can be trapped into being an “us” “them” relationship, our call is to preach to the ENTIRE WORLD. (or one of my new favorite phrases…all creation).  To experience God is to experience something fundamentally different than oneself, the very fact we are open to that experience gives me hope for the church.

6. Relationships: I know of no other place than in Worship that we get to work on all of the relationships in our lives–we give ourselves time to figure out how to better our loving of our neighbor, self, enemy, friend, stranger and God. HOW COOL IS THAT? The only thing close is therapy, and that tends to be more specific. Yet in church we give at least an hour a day to work on ALL of the relationships in our lives (to me this reason alone is worth it)

7. Faith: Church is a place to come wherever you are on your faith journey (despite advertisements to the contrary). It is a community of differing beliefs that come together to build the richer and deeper experience of faith. If you don’t believe everything or even anything one week, you have a community, holding onto faith for you whenever you need it….

8. Empowering: Got a local passion or need? Church is a great way to funnel a real and hands on mission. If you feel called to so something, then the church is designed to equip, volunteer for and experience that mission. When churches falter on mission, its because they often lack the motivation or energy for a project, but if you are feeling compelled church can be a great place to real-ize that call….

9. Everyone is Welcome: This is a struggle for churches and individuals…church’s often hold a few curmudgeons, some fussers and one or two explosive personalities. Why? Because we are trying to practice universal love–like a family you may not like everyone in your congregation, yet you are working hard to get on with them. And this is a volunteer organization, we aren’t putting up with each other for money or a promotion (most of the time), we are doing it because individuals are important, because there should be room for everyone and because we value the fact that you are practicing your faith, even when it doesn’t look exactly like mine. We falter, we have power struggles and arguments, we say stupid things…but we also a a safe haven for the sick, the bossy, the imperfect, the tired, the annoying, the messy, the uptight, the mentally ill, the ostentatious , the loud, the meek, the ones who think they are perfect, the slow, the way too fast, the sick, the short, the tall, the bad singers, the mumblers, the addicts, the religious, the areligious, the sometimes/allthetime/onlyChristmasandEasterattendees. We don’t do as good a job as I’d like, but that’s because (let’s face it) these bunch of crazies are the ones welcoming you at the door, and heaven knows we have our own brokenness to struggle with…but we’d love to welcome yours too!

10. People like to talk about God–even people who don’t believe in God, like to talk about who God is (and isn’t) where God is (and isn’t) and how that plays a role in their lives. My friends would often broach the subject: in bars, at parties, during or after movies, on walks, wherever and whenever they are…..People like to talk about their spirituality…..Church is a place to do that…a place to kick around your ideas about what may or may not exist, to do the spiritual work of figuring out where you stand and (more importantly) what implications that has on your life…..

PS for another good read check out http://www.patheos.com/blogs/nakedpastor/2013/08/its-our-fault-millennials-are-leaving-the-church/ on who millennials are (not just why they are leaving the church). Here is his comic….why millennials are leaving the church cartoon by nakedpastor david hayward

 

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