The carols we sing during Advent and Christmas are among our favorite holiday traditions. Yet, even before Jesus was born, people were singing songs of anticipation about the coming of the One who would be the Savior of the world. Because of their poetic beauty, depth of emotion, and rich meaning, the Church has employed these songs as liturgical elements in worship over many centuries and across Christian traditions. Join us for worship this Advent and Christmas season as we look more closely at these “original” carols and how they help us discover and reclaim the deeper truths of this time of hope and joy.
December 1/First Sunday of Advent
Text: Isaiah 11:1-9
Message: The Prophet’s Song
Against the backdrop of the Assyrian invasion, the prophet Isaiah paints a picture of the peaceable kingdom where predators no longer prey on the weak.
December 8/Second Sunday of Advent
Text: Luke 1:57-79
Message: A Father’s Song (Zechariah)
On the day of his son John’s circumcision, the once mute priest Zechariah begins to sing a song of praise to God, declaring his hope in the One who is to come, the One for whom his son will be the forerunner.
December 15/Third Sunday of Advent
Text: Luke 1:39-56
Message: A Mother’s Song (Mary)
Upon learning that she is to be the mother of the Son of God, Mary offers a song that turns the order of society on its head, announcing that the time of a new world in which the poor and meek will be lifted up has come.
December 22/Fourth Sunday of Advent
Text: Luke 2:8-20
Message: The Angels’ Song
The angelic chorale offers a heavenly concert to the shepherds over the fields of Bethlehem.
December 29/First Sunday after Christmas
Text: Luke 2:22-38
Message: The Faithful’s Song (Simeon & Anna)
The aged Simeon and the persistent Anna offer their blessing in song as the long-awaited Christ-child is presented in the Temple.
January 5/Second Sunday after Christmas
Text: John 1:1-18
Message: Creation’s Song
The prologue found in the first chapter of John’s Gospel echoes the song of Genesis 1—this time, however, the Divine Logos (the Christ), comes in the flesh, destined to redeem and restore the recalcitrant creation. The Christ becomes God’s very love song for all that God had created.