There are SO many fun songs to sing during the Christmas season that it can be hard to narrow down your list. From the classics to the contemporary, there are a plethora of options to help set the tone for your holiday church service. Some, like Oh Come, All Ye Faithful, date back to the 1600’s, which is an encouraging reminder that “our faith is 30 minutes old.” Others, like Mary, Did You Know, continue to be re-recorded over and over by artists looking to put their stamp on a Christmas song that means so much to so many.
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We asked our community of worship leaders and Christian recording artists to identify their “favorites”. Can you guess which Christmas carol took first prize in the hearts of our church leaders?
BE SURE you make it to the end of this video. The gang at Bridge Worship blows it up with an a cappella version of Oh Holy Night that makes me want to take voice lessons.
Some of the top songs mentioned included:
- Oh Holy Night
- Silent Night
- Mary, Did You Know?
- Oh Come, All Ye Faithful
- Joy To The World
— Worship Leader (@WorshipLeader) December 19, 2022
One that was left out that I feel deserves a mention, and since I’m writing this article I get to add my 2 cents (lucky you), is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. It dates back to the mid-1800s and we’re STILL singing it!
“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” is most assuredly one of the oldest, if not the oldest, Christmas Carol in most hymnbooks today and is one of the oldest texts still sung by the Church at any time of the year.
Here’s a great piece by Christopher Watson called, Five Christmas Hymns From The Past You Should Use This Year. If you’re building your Christmas setlist, it’s well worth a quick read.
Chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Probably “O Holy Night.” O Holy Night.” “O Holy Night.” “O Holy Night.” “O Holy Night?” “O Holy Night.” Do they have to be Christian songs? This is it, I’m done. We did not discuss me singing.
Number one for sure is “Mary, Did You Know?” The CeeLo Green version. I just- I don’t know. I think he just- he did. He performed it. It’s incredible. I’ve never really like the music of it, but “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” lyrically is one of the best songs as well. “Silent Night.” “Silent Night,” is just- every Christmas service across the country is closing their Christmas pageant with Silent Night.
I love the- “O Come Let Us Adore Him.” There’s just it’s so worshipful, it’s so impactful. I just think it’s, it’s an amazing call to our hearts to remember the season and what the shepherds were doing in that time. I love “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” It’s a great call to worship, you know, to come. And yeah, I love that song.
“Joy to the World.” Yeah, I got to go with “Joy to the World.” “First Noel.” “O Come, Let Us Adore Him” – “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is the technical title. I actually like “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Paul McCartney. It’s one of my favorite Christmas songs. I’m still- I still believe in Jesus, but I do like that song. I love “O Holy Night.” And it’s not the singer part of me that loves it.
I mean, it’s a beautiful melody, but it’s actually the lyric that I’m so drawn to because it says O Holy Night. The stars are brightly shining. It is the night I’m going to say it of our dear Savior’s birth. This part is my favorite. Long lay the world in sin and error pining till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
I think that is the most beautiful lyric probably ever written. A thrill of hope- like, it’s just so full of the redemption of the world. Every time I listen to that song or I hear it sung, I just- I can’t help but feel just so grateful. I would like to say anything that like Bing Crosby- God, I love Bing Crosby. Probably – I mean, probably “Come All Ye Faithful.” Sing a line from the “Little Drummer Boy” now. Uh, No. Here’s your moment! “No, forget this,” and walk off. I think it’s the “pa rum pum pum pums,” really. And especially when that’s like on a screen, you know, because you got to type it out. Pa rum pum pum pum. Rum pum pum pum. And then you got rum pum pum rum pum pum, rum pum pum pum.
I love that. Yeah. I think a lot of times we forget that Christmas carols are worship songs. Right now, you want me to sing? Fall on your knees. Keep it going, keep it going. Oh, hear the angels voices. O night, divine. O, night, that Christ was born. O, night divine. O, night, O, night divine. Get out of here.
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Joshua Swanson is the Editor-in-Chief of Worship Leader. He's also the Co-founder and Managing Partner of Authentic Media, Worship Leader's parent company, and the former CEO and Co-founder of the creative agency GTMA. His proudest achievement is his marriage to Rachael Joy and partnering with her in founding New Hope Children. As a performer and speaker, he’s appeared on TV networks like ABC, NBC, Lifetime, and Hallmark. His companies have worked with major brands like Sprint, Pokemon Go (he was also in a Pokemon movie), Pepsi, The Latin Grammys, the Billboard Awards, Corona and over 75 national developers. He’s narrated over a hundred audiobooks and was awarded Best YA Voice twice. His companies have been Inc. 5000 three different times.