You know…bundling up against the cold, with song sheet in hand, strolling from one home to another…or, bringing cheer to the elderly and home bound…
Silent Night…Away in a Manger…O Little Town of Bethlehem…and even a Jingle Bells or two with many renditions of We Wish you a Merry Christmas.
At times I recall becoming weary of caroling. The songs blurred together, some hard to sing, others just not holding any meaning. But, it’s tradition and purposeful, right? So bundle up with the rest of them and carry on the tradition to bring cheer to others.
I did a little searching about caroling, and, as most of us might rightly assume, caroling began as a pagan ritual for the Winter Solstice. It involved dancing and singing and partying. Over time, caroling developed into a Christmas-themed practice because the lyrics began to change within the pagan tunes. The Story of the Savior shifted the message…the purpose of caroling. It became gospel focused.
So, I began to appreciate these carols once again. Re-discovering the old while discovering the new.
One familiar and historic carol Christmas Bells by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow…explains hope during a period of war and sorrow:
I heard the bells on Christmas day,
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will toward men!
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And then we have the sweet sound here of a new carol asking a question we may have asked.
And similar to those old carols carrying tunes from their culture here’s a popular melody given new lyrics to tell The Story.
So, dance! Celebrate! Worship!
For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given…and His Name shall be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace!