Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 11) Joy to the World

Joy to the World was written by Isaac Watts in 1719, and is now one of our most popular modern carols. It's so wonderful that many of these songs continue to be loved for hundreds of years. How could we not sing Joy to the World at Christmas? And I hope we keep singing it… Continue reading (Day 11) Joy to the World

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 10) O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Come, O Come Emmanuel has a long and mysterious history. It was first translated into English in 1851 by John Mason Neale, and other writers have added verses through the years. It is a song of yearning. Throughout the Old Testament God's prophets predict, the stories foreshadow, and his people wait. What are they… Continue reading (Day 10) O Come, O Come Emmanuel

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 9) Once in Royal David’s City

Once in Royal David's City was a poem written in the 1840's by Cecil Frances Alexander, who also wrote the hymn All Things Bright and Beautiful. She must have been quite a lady, judging by her hymns. This is the kind of song that delights a child, yet hits a rich theological note. Again we… Continue reading (Day 9) Once in Royal David’s City

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 8 ) Good Christian Men Rejoice

Good Christian Men Rejoice is a tune that gets its roots from the Middle Ages, and is intended to warm our hearts during the Christmas season. We are to celebrate the Messiah's birth with our whole being - and this bubbles out into song. It's one reason why we hear this kind of music everywhere… Continue reading (Day 8 ) Good Christian Men Rejoice

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 7) What Child is This?

What Child is This is another English carol, written in 1856 by William Chatterton Dix. I find some of the most profound words in the song to be, "Good Christians, fear, for sinners here; the silent Word is pleading." I wondered what that meant, until I remembered that in some versions this is directly followed… Continue reading (Day 7) What Child is This?

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 6) Silent Night

Silent Night comes to us from early 19th century Austria. It is impossible for me to stay dry-eyed if this is sung on Christmas Eve. I know a little about what its like to give birth in a time of upheaval, and in an unfamiliar place. CoCo was born in Ireland just a few short… Continue reading (Day 6) Silent Night

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 5) Angels We Have Heard on High

Today's song is another loose translation of an old French carol: Angels We Have Heard High. There is a sweet simplicity to this little song. I have really happy memories of belting out the Glo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ria chorus as a kid at the Christmas Eve church service. Though simple, its message is still profound. Once again we… Continue reading (Day 5) Angels We Have Heard on High

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 4) I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Our great American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, wrote the poem that was later put to music and became I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day. I've been thinking lately about the temptation to despair that we can all sometimes be faced with during Christmas. Longfellow certainly felt it, as this song attests. The death of… Continue reading (Day 4) I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 3) God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

I have always loved God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. This fortifying hymn is an old English carol dating back to at least the 16th century. If it seems to beg you to jump up and dance a little jig, that's because it was indeed meant to cheer and bolster the listener with the good news… Continue reading (Day 3) God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen

Advent Devotional/Playlist · Hymn Devotionals

(Day 2) O Holy Night

The French carol O Holy Night dates from the mid-1800's. Though the original poem is fantastic (go research it if you're interested), our modern version is also a truly beautiful song. Let me just say that long lay the world in sin and error pining, till He appeared and the soul felt its worth is… Continue reading (Day 2) O Holy Night