And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace, good will toward men.
Music. What can be better than Christmas music? It is one of my favorite things. I’m very much a traditionalist, so I always look forward to the day after Thanksgiving when I can crank up the Christmas tunes. If there’s a concert or cantata to attend, I will be there.
Music is an important part of the Christmas season because it is an important part of the Christmas story. Luke 1:46-55, in the Holy Bible, records the Magnificat or song of Mary. It is Mary’s hymn of praise which follows Elizabeth’s revelation that her own baby leapt in her womb when he heard Mary’s greeting. Later, following the birth of Jesus, a host of angels appeared to shepherds in a field. They praised God as they announced the birth of Christ. The verse (Luke 2:13) doesn’t specifically say they sang but if you look up the Greek word for the word praising, the definition is joyful praise of God expressed in doxology, hymn or prayer.
We learn Christmas carols at an early age. Who doesn’t remember singing Away In A Manger or Silent Night when they were very young? We learn Christmas carols and pull them out of our memory banks each year. Many are a reflection of the Christmas story, the birth of Jesus Christ. We also hold in our memory secular Christmas songs about snow, sleigh bells and Santa.
Five Events in One Week
It’s no secret that I love music. It is a theme that repeats itself in my posts. You can read about it here and here. That is why I was amused with myself while attending a concert with my dad last week. I was thinking about the previous week and realized I had attended five Christmas musical events in seven days!
- First, my husband and I attended Andrew Peterson’s Behold The Lamb of God concert which is in its twentieth year. I enjoy his music, with its folksy guitar sound. There were several other musicians, including a Bluegrass band, which I loved. Many of the musicians were from Nashville, where my son lives so that was fun. It was a great concert.
- The following day, my birthday, my sister-in-law and I went to the Magic Kingdom and EPCOT. We watched what I consider to be the best thing that Disney offers to its guests – The Candlelight Processional. A mass choir, including a singing Christmas tree, sings Christmas songs as a guest narrator reads the Christmas story from the Bible. Actor Neil Patrick Harris was the guest reader the night we went. It brought back memories of the years my daughter participated in the processional with her high school choir. It’s pretty amazing if you think about it — three times a day for a month, the words of scripture are heard by thousands of people from all over the world.
- Next was a Broadway-style Christmas musical at a local church. One of my dear friends was the director of this very cute production. They really did a great job with the singing, acting and set design. Not bad for a medium-sized town in central Florida.
- My church had a choir concert which included pre-schoolers, children and the adult choir. The pre-schoolers were quite entertaining. One of my favorite memories was of the little girl dancing with abandon as the adult choir sang. Precious.
- Finally, my dad and I attended a Holiday Pops concert presented by our local Imperial Symphony Orchestra. It was part of the concert series for which we have season tickets. It was a great concert with so much talent. There was a mix of traditional and secular music and even a sing-a-long. The guest performer, Bonne Kramer, a bassoonist and singer kept us entertained with her talent and sense of humor. It was a really nice evening that my dad and I both enjoyed.
You Can’t Do It All
I was sad to miss an annual tradition this year. My friend and I usually attend The Nutcracker but we were unable to this year. We ran out of time. We are each Mothers of the Groom and will celebrate two weddings in the coming three weeks. Yikes!
I will also miss our traditional Christmas Eve service at church because we will be in Nashville for my son’s wedding. Oh, well, perhaps I will find some more Christmas music there. After all, Nashville is music city.
This Christmas season has been a very musical one. From the five concerts I attended, to the musical specials and movies on television to the continuous Christmas music on my radio it has indeed been a musical season. The best part is, it’s not over yet!
What has been your favorite musical event this Christmas season? What’s your favorite Christmas carol?
I pray that these last few days before Christmas day are full of love, joy, friends, family and music!