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Christmas

Christmas is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Church that allows us to reflect on the love, the extreme love that our Heavenly Father has for us all.  If we celebrate Christmas the way it was meant to be celebrated, if we understood and lived the true meaning of Christmas, the birth of Jesus Christ, our lives will be transformed.

Unfortunately through the years, this season has become highly commercialized and much of its true meaning has been lost.  For example, Christ who is the reason for the season, has been replaced with a big “X”, and the joyous “Merry Christmas” greeting has been replaced with “season’s greetings” and “happy xmas” and alike, none of which says anything about the great importance of God entering into humanity to save us, his people from our sins.  Otherwise, we would have been eternally dammed without any hope of eternal life. It is our hope that these posts as well as the very special programming we have on FullyCatholic Radio will enlighten your hearts and minds of the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ who came with a specific goal; to be the Saviour of the world.  When this message hits home, when it really registers in your heart and mind, you can’t help but fall on your knees and worship the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Even The Poor Can Celebrate Christmas

Christ Is A Gift From God

 

Christmas is celebrated differently to different people in different ways. Backgrounds, beliefs, and values play a role in how we celebrate Christmas, but another factor is income. It is often said Christmas has become too commercial, and this celebration of the birth of Jesus is more about spending money and buying things, than a special family time to enjoy each other.

 

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Go Tell it On The Mountain


The song "Go Tell It On The Mountain" has become a song about civil rights just as much as it has been a Christmas carol. The true meaning behind the carol is to express the excitement that people are feeling about the birth of Christ. You want to be able to tell as many people as possible about such a joyous occasion, so it is important to yell about such a wonderful event from the mountain tops. The song was written by an old folk singer from the Memphis area John W. Work. Work typically wrote songs that were played often at spiritual gatherings.

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Good Christian Men Rejoice


When singing Christmas carols during the holiday season, it is hard to imagine that the songs we sing are sometimes hundreds of years old or were originally in a much different language from our own native tongue. However, one such well-known Christmas carol is the frequently sung "Good Christian Men Rejoice." This song, first published in 1328 under the name "In Dulci Jubilo," is thought to have been written by a German mystic and Domincan monk by the name of Heinrich Seuse. In a biography about Seuse, it was said that angels sang this song and led him into a worshipful dance to God.

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God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

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Christmas carols have always been a part of Yuletide celebrations.  Whether you're regaling your neighbors with your favorite Christmas songs, or just belting a merry tune at home, one classic carol you're likely to sing is, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen. As many of the older carols, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen was written as a direct response to the music of the church during the fifteenth century. The lyrics were written in Olde English, and it is attributed 'English Traditional'. No one knows who wrote the carol.

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We Three Kings


 The American Episcopal Priest, Rev. John Henry Hopkins Jr., composed both the lyrics and music for this beloved Christmas Carol in 1857, while living in Pennsylvania. It was originally composed, however, as a song for a Christmas pageant – a kind of church-based musical performance, which was first performed as General Theological Seminary in New York City. GTS is distinguished as the oldest Episcopal Seminary in the United States, and is still active and located in Manhattan. When reading the somewhat old-fashioned lyrics, the beginnings of the song in a play helps to make more sense of the lyrics and their style. For example, it explains why the opening lines identify who the singers are, presuming that they are just appearing on “stage” during the performance:

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Away In A Manger


First published in 1885, Away In A Manger was a Christmas carol which happened to be religious. When this song was first published it had only two versus and was called Luther's Cradle Hymn and believed to be written by Martin Luthar for his children. In reality the original author of Away In a Manger is unknown and the music was made by William J. Kirkpatrick in 1895. They believe that this Christmas song may originate from Germany somewhere.

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The First Noel


Little is known about the classic, and much loved, Christmas carol The First Noel. It is an English Folk song that tells the story of Christ's birth. The verses sing of the adventure of the three Wise men who followed a shining star to witness the savior's birth at Bethlehem. The chorus of The First Noel chants the word "Noel" to stress its importance. The word "Noel" is French for Christmas. The French wish someone a Merry Christmas by saying "Joyeux Noel". However, the Christmas carol was originally written as "The First Nowell", using the Anglo-Saxon spelling of the word. It was later changed because of French influence in England after the Norman invasion.

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Angels We have Heard On High


This is definitely one of my favorite Christmas Carols. It always brings me great joy whenever I sing it. Angels We Have Heard On High is considered one of the many French carols sung during Christmas. The French is Les Anges dans Nos Campagnes.  The hymn was translated by Bishop James Chadwick on 1862 and published in The Crown of Jesus Music. It also was printed in Holy Family Hymns in 1860. Bishop James Chadwick wrote the words and the music was written by Edwin S. Barnes from a traditional French Christmas hymn.

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Hark The Herald Angels Sing


This song has a great and illustrious history. If there ever were a song that had direct ties to Methodist heritage "Hark The Herald" would be it. The song was written by the brother of the Methodist leader John Wesley. The name of the songwriter was Charles Wesley. The music itself was composed by Felix Mendelssohn. There are people out there who say the music was written to celebrate the invention of the printing press. I have not been able to confirm this fact, but it certainly is something interesting to discuss. One of the original verses said herk how all the welking rings, glory to the king of kings.

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O Little Town Of Bethlehem


In 1865, an American Episcopal Priest by the name of Phillips Brooks (1835-1893) visited the largely Christian Arab town of Bethlehem in what was then Palestinian territories under Ottomon (Turkish) administration. He was so taken with the experience of actually visiting the site of the traditional birthplace of Jesus, that within three years, he composed the poetry that would become the famous Christmas Carol, "O Little Town of Bethlehem". Although it is sung to different tunes in America and Britain, the tune that is most familiar to Americans is the tune called "St. Louis".

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