Songs of Christmas – Of the Father’s Love Begotten

How many of you do NOT know this hymn? If you raised your hand, then it’s IMPERATIVE that you click here and listen to it. Here’s another version by John Michael Talbot. This Medieval song is a combination of a Latin poem and an ancient melody known at Divinum Mysterium.

For those who enjoy solid doctrine housed within a beautiful (almost haunting) melody – this is a song you will enjoy. Imagine 16th century monks’ voices echoing through the hallowed halls of a European monastary as you listen to the recordings.

Now, which author listed this hymn as their top Christmas song pick??

My favorite Christmas song is “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” The first verse goes like this:
Of the Father’s love begotten, ere the worlds began to be, He is Alpha and Omega, He the source, the ending He, Of the things that are, that have been, And that future years shall see, evermore and evermore!
I love the truth contained in the words, and I love the melody because it’s so gentle and haunting. It always carries me away to a peaceful place in my heart. If you’re not familiar with the song, here’s a YouTube clip:

Songs of Christmas- O Holy Night

It’s one of the most notable carols of Christmas. A French poem set to music by Adolphe Adam in 1847, O Holy Night has become a standard – especially as a solo. The literal translation from French to English makes the words all the more poignant.

Here is the first verse as translated from the original French:

Midnight, Christians, it is the solemn hour,

When God-man descended to us

To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.

The entire world thrills with hope

On this night that gives it a Savior.

People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

Well – we have a whole HOST of authors who picked O Holy Night as their favorite Christmas song.

My fav Christmas song (oh, do I have to pick just one!!?) would be “O Holy Night” because, when I sing it or hear it sung, I feel the glory and majesty in the music and the wording which reflects Christ’s birth. It makes me cry every time even though I’ve heard it hundreds, perhaps thousands of times. Sigh.
Laura Frantz (author of The Colonel’s Lady  and Courting Morrow Little)
This is hard to narrow down but I think my very favorite Christmas song is O Holy Night. The lyrics are a powerful picture of how everything changed when Jesus was born. When I hear it or sing it I want to fall on my face before the Lord, weeping in thanksgiving, for the gift of our Lord and Savior – Jesus. LOVE it!
Jamie Carie, who also left some wonderful links to versions of O Holy Night, is author of The Guardian Duke and Pirate of My Heart.– celtic women – the amazing Celine Dion

And my sister from another mother 🙂 the fabulous Mariah Carey

My favorite Christmas Carol is O Holy Night.
O Holy Night is the essence of why we celebrate Christmas. God gave the gift of eternal life in His Son Jesus Christ when the world least expected it. Because of His perfect gift, we give to those we love. We can’t ever out-give God; His blessings are eternal. But we can symbolize the ultimate, by giving to others—the poor, the needy, the unloved. O Holy Night speaks to our souls where words and emotion fail to communicate the love of Christmas.
DiAnn Mills – (author of Attracted to Fire and Under a Desert Sky)
Stop by for more Christmas songs on Wednesday with Julie Lessman & Missy Tippens’ favorites!!


Songs for Christmas – The Little Drummer Boy

The Little Drummer Boy, a more recent Christmas favorite, was written in 1941 by Katherine Kennicott Davis. Apparently it was written as a song for young choirs in celebration of Christmas – particularly since the song is written from the perspective of a little boy who comes to see the newborn King.

It reminds me of a simple Christmas poem written by Christina Rosetti (it’s a poem my children had to memorize in kindergarten)

What can I give him – small as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I’d give him a lamb

If I were a wiseman, I’d do my part.

Yet what shall I give him? Give him my heart.

So, which author chose this song as her favorite?

What a fun question, Pepper. I love Christmas music! I listen to carols and songs the entire month of December and never tire of them. “Silent Night” is probably my favorite carol. I always tear up when I sing it. But I’m choosing a sentimental favorite, “The Little Drummer Boy,” my mom’s favorite Christmas song. She’s been gone for twelve years. I miss her, especially at Christmas, her favorite time of the year. In December her Little Drummer Boy music box sets in a special place at our house. The paint is chipped in a spot or two. The sound isn’t perfect but the message of the song remains strong. The little drummer boy had nothing to give the newborn king except a desire to play his drum—the very best he could–for Baby Jesus. The song is a precious reminder that we don’t have to spend money or wear ourselves out to honor those we love with a gift. Especially Jesus. All He wants is our hearts, to come and adore Him with the simple faith of a child. 

 Merry Christmas!

Janet Dean

Saturday we’ll have a poignant post about the song I’ll Be Home for Christmas.

Songs for Christmas – Mary, Did You Know?

A more recent song which has touched hearts is Mary, Did You Know? – a Mark Lowry song, made popular by Michael English.

Mary, Did You Know?  was written in 1984, but not performed by Michael English until 1992 – when it truly became more popular. There are some poignant messages woven throughout this song, forshadowing the ultimate purpose of Christ’s incarnation.

Here is Kathy Mattea’s version of the song –

And here is the most recent recording of the song, performed by Clay Aiken –

So, what does award winning author, Deeanne Gist have to say about her favorite Christmas song?

My favorite Christmas song is the contemporary Christmas classic, Mary, Did You Know?  It moves me every time I hear it. It humanizes Jesus for me in a way no other song has. He is my Lord, my Savior, my Redeemer, my Groom. But he was also a man, born of the Virgin Mary. As a mom, I held my newborn babies praising God for such miracles, while simultaneously having no idea what life had in store for them–some of it good, some of it not so good.

 This song channels those feelings I had and then transfers them to Mary as I envision her holding her newborn the way I held mine. It makes me think about what it must have been like to have shepherds come and behold her baby, then tell her what the angels had said. I think my favorite, though, is the way the Scriptures say Mary “treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.”  That’s what this song makes me think about. And every time I hear it, I am blessed.
Wow – what would it have been like to be in Mary’s place?
Do you have a particular Christmas song you like that focuses on a specific person of the Christmas story? This one focuses on Mary (as does a later featured song, Breath of Heaven) – but are there others?
Don’t forget to stop by Friday for the song The Little Drummer Boy! Which author(s) chose this song as his/her favorite?

Songs of Christmas – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

It’s a song of anticipation. A song born out of years of longing and yearning for the Promised One, the Messiah.

A song with the melody of a Gregorian chant and the celebrative chorus of angels.

O Come O Come Emmanuel ‘s author is unknown, but it was supposedly written in Latin in the 12 century and translated into English by John Mason Neale in 1851.

You can hear Casting Crown’s version here.

Which authors said that this carol was their FAVORITE Christmas song?

My favorite Christmas carol is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I have always loved that one. Aaron Shust sings it sooooooo well. I think I like it partly because it just sounds so cool. And because it sounds very medieval. So when I was writing The Merchant’s Daughter and I needed a song for them sing at church, I looked up O Come, O Come Emmanuel and it was written a hundred years before my story, so I used it. It plays into two scenes in the book. It was perfect.
 Melanie Dickerson (author of The Healer’s Apprentice and the newly released Merchant’s Daughter)
Growing up, my parents had an album The Glorious Sounds of Christmas. One of the songs was “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” and the orchestration with the cellos and violins was just soooo soulful and moving, it gripped my heart and imagination every time. I could just see the Israelits traversing across the plains, searching for the promised on.
It’s still one of my favorite songs. I have the original album loaded in my iTunes!
Rachel Hauck (author of Dining With Joy and The Wedding Dress)
My favorite Christmas song is “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel.” When I was growing up my church did a live nativity scene every year. This song was always a part of the show. There’s something about the melody of that hymn that haunts my soul (in a good way). To think that Christ was prophesied so long before he came as a babe in a manger boggles my mind. I can just hear the cries of the Jews, “Oh come, oh come Emmanuel!” as they cried out to be set free from bondage and captivity. In so many ways people are still held “captive” today (by the things of this world). Like those Jews of old, they can cry out, “Oh come, oh come Emmanuel” (God with us) and Jesus will come into their hearts, set them free and release them from the pain of the past. It’s hard to control my emotions whenever that song plays. The words in the chorus: “Rejoice! Rejoice!” transition the song from the bleakness of the mourner’s past to the joy of a life with God.
 Janice Thompson ( author of Weddings by Bella series and When Stars Collide)
My all-time favorite is O Come, O Come Emmanuel. The reason I like it doesn’t really have as much to do with the words as with the feeling and the mood of the song. It’s one of the few Christmas songs written in a minor key and it feels ancient. It’s very elemental and it reflects Christmas exactly the way I feel it. I spent some years in Canada as I was growing up and winter isn’t all glistening snow with merry blue skies. At least not to me. Winter is cold and treacherous and primitive; isolating and brittle, occasionally warmed by gatherings with family and friends. This Christmas carol could be the soundtrack to the painting ‘Hunters in the Snow’ by Bruegel: My favorite song, my favorite painting. They both evoke very strong moods and feelings. It makes sense that I would like them: I try to evoke moods and feelings with my writing too.
Siri Mitchell (author of She Walks in Beauty  and A Heart Most Worthy) – and of course, her answer is as poetic as her books 😉
Find out more Song of Christmas with your favorite authors coming later this week, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.