During this season of the year one of the most joyful sounds is the music of Christmas carols and many of them have their own unique story to tell.
There was a time when Christmas carols were silent – the Puritan English Parliament abolished carols in the year 1627 because the celebration of Christmas had become too worldly. For more than 100 years, there were few songs to celebrate the birth of Christ. However, during the mid 1700’s Charles Wesley wrote one that survives to this day – “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” At the age of 29 William Dix was stricken with a sudden, serious illness that left him bedfast and depressed for an extended period of time. It was during his prayerful recuperation that he wrote the beautiful song sung to the tune of Green Sleeves, “What Child is This?” When the church organ broke in the little Alpine village of Tyrol, parish priest Joseph Mohr and organist Franz Gruber wrote a song that they sang with guitar accompaniment on Christmas Eve – “Silent Night.”
Truly, the most joyful sounds of the season are the songs that celebrate Christ’s birth. As you sing them, let the words and melodies begin in your heart!