Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. Luke 2:14
The song of the angels was the first Christmas carol, sung on the holy night of our dear Savior’s birth. We have no idea what the tune was, whether they sang in unison or in harmony, whether they sang a cappella or sang accompanied by harps. But we do know the song was beautiful, mesmerizing the shepherds in the field and leading them to the manger in Bethlehem.
So I always wanted to be an angel at Christmas. Not just because angels wear white and silver and gold and wings and halos. But because they sing, announcing the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ, offering praise to God and peace to all.
During Advent we sing many of our favorite hymns. These Christmas carols are so beautiful with such wonderful messages. “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” is a meditation in verse and melody on the gift to the world of hope through Christ. “There’s a Song in the Air” is a sweet song of the Nativity. “Away in a Manger” is a simple lullaby that tells the Christmas story and its promise of peace and love. Christina Rossetti’s lovely poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” has been set to many beautiful melodies, classical to contemporary. Traditional Christmas carols like “Good Christian Men Rejoice” have been arranged and rearranged in every musical style imaginable. Each new setting reflects the joy of Jesus’ birth.
I’ve always thought it was a shame that we sang these beautiful carols only during Advent. That may be why the idea of “Christmas in July” popped into my head when the Diaconate Fellowship Committee was planning this past year’s Summer Sizzles. What better way to escape the heat of summer in the South than to put up Christmas trees, make angel ornaments, decorate cookies, and sing carols. As Marcia played the piano, her mother Margaret and the rest of us sang favorite carols, out of season, but with big smiles. Angels singing praises to the new born king. What a perfect Christmas picture—in July.
Prayer: Dear Lord, bring us hope, peace, joy, and love this Advent and Christmastide. May we continually sing your praises, now and forever. Amen.
LeAnne Thurmond Holcombe
About the Contributor
LeAnne Thurmond Holcombe (Ed’s wife and Jasmine’s and Jaden’s grandmother) is a member of the Diaconate Fellowship Committee, the Sanctuary and Flower Guilds, the Chancel Choir, and the Chamber Singers.