Thoughtful Thursday: Christmas Carols

An Abbreviated History of Christmas Carols

Did you know that carols were originally pagan jigs? The Church tried to replace the popular carols with Christian songs, but they were in Latin and never caught on.

St Francis of Assisi’s Nativity Plays introduced Christmas canticles that grew popular and spread through much of Europe, but over time they were changed and eventually became entertaining ditties that had little or nothing to do with the true Christmas story.

Singing Christmas carols in public came to and end when Puritans came to power and had them banned because they saw them as a sin. The carols survived by those who sang them privately in their homes. It took 200 years for views to change and for carols to be embraced as joyful celebratory songs.

After the Reformation, the Protestant church further helped to promote carols. Martin Luther and his contemporaries encouraged them to be used in worship and even wrote some “new” carols.

If you love Christmas music as much as I do, be sure to arrive early this Sunday for our Christmas Hymn Sing.