One of the challenges of running some of the Christmas services is to find the right Carols. This year on Christmas morning, we did a quick survey to find the top Carols (Jackie’s idea) and sang the ones that topped the poll. We did try to ask everyone before the service but as many came in after the service had started, as you would expect on Christmas morning, not everyone had a vote. For the person who voted for ‘Last Christmas I gave you my Heart’, this vote was not counted on the grounds that;
- To sing it would be considered irreverent by the many Christians present.
- To sing it would offend the many music lovers present.
- Its rubbish.
- He was being silly.
I must at this point thank the band who managed to play all of the songs with no warnings or prior notice.
In a three way tie for third place we had; ‘Joy to the World’, ‘O Come all ye Faithful’ and ‘Silent Night’.
There was a close run fight for the top spot with the top two making up 48% of the total between them and only separated by a single vote. In second spot we had Stuart Townend’s ‘From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable’. Although sung at Christmas, it is more than just a Carol, it also covers the return of Christ and the final judgement, and having been written in 1999, it is in terms of Christmas songs ‘hot off the press’. The lyrics are loaded with great teaching and it was noticeable that the song had supporters right across the age range.
Holding on at number one we had a great Evangelical Classic in Charles Wesley’s ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. As with ‘From the Squalor’, this Carol appeals to old and young alike and is truly earthed in scripture. I heard an item on this on BBC One’s ‘The One Show’ and apparently Wesley’s original opening lines were;
“Hark! how all the welkin rings,
Glory to the King of Kings”.
‘Welkin’ is a old word that refers to the sky. It was George Whitefield who changed the words into what we know today. Proof perhaps that at Christmas even Calvinists and Arminians can work in harmony!