Daily Wisdom Words

CHRISTMAS HISTORY: HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS SONGS

CHRISTMAS HISTORY:  HISTORY OF CHRISTMAS SONGS

WHAT DOES HISTORY TELL US ABOUT CHRISTMAS SONGS?  IN ONE OF OUR LAST POSTS ON CHRISTMAS, WE WILL LOOK AT HOW THE CHRISTMAS SONG CAME TO BE.  THIS IS ONE OF OUR VERY LAST POSTS ON CHRISTMAS, SO ENJOY.  BEFORE GOING ANY FURTHER, LET ME TAKE A MOMENT TO LET THE #WRITING COMMUNITY,  (AUTHORS, POETS, BLOGGERS, SONGWRITERS) JUST HOW VERY GRATEFUL WE ARE FOR YOUR SUPPORT!  DAILY WISDOM WORDS WANTS TO WISH ALL OF YOU THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS, AND THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT.  WE WOULD NOT BE WHERE WE ARE TODAY WITHOUT OUR READERS, AND WE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS AND WISH YOU A MERRCHRISTMAS!  MAY THE TRUE SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAY TOUCH YOUR HEART, AND ON TOP OF ALL THESE TRADITIONS WE’VE WRITTEN ABOUT, WE REMEMBER THE TRUE REASON FOR THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.  NOW, BACK TO CHRISTMAS SONGS!

CHRISTMAS SONGS DIDN’T START OUT AS CHRISTMAS SONGS.  THEY STARTED OUT AS PAGEN SONGS SUNG IN DIFFERENT PARTS OF EUROPE LONG AGO.  WHILE LISTENING TO THEM, PEOPLE DANCED ROUND STONE CIRCLES.   TO CELEBRATE THE WINTER SOLSTICE LONG AGO.  THE WINTER SOLSTICE IS THE SHORTEST DAY OF THE YEAR USUALLY TAKING PLACE AROUND DECEMBER 22ND.  THE WORD CAROL ACTUALLY MEANS SONGS ABOUT PRAISE AND JOY.  CAROLS USED TO BE SUNG AT THE BEGINNING OF ALL FOUR SEASONS, BUT ONLY THE CHRISTMAS CAROL SEEMS TO HAVE STOOD THE TEST OF TIME.

CHRISTIAN SONGS REPLACED THESE PAGEN SONGS BY EARLY CHRISTIANS.  IN 129 A.D., A ROMAN BISHOP SAID THAT A SONG CALLED “ANGEL’S HYMN” SHOULD BE SUNG AT A CHRISTMAS SERVICE IN ROME.  ANOTHER FAMOUS CHRISTMAS SONG IN 760 A.D. WAS SUNG BY COMAS OF JERUSALEM, FOR THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH.  SOON AFTER THIS, CHRISTMAS CAROLS POPPED UP ALL OVER EUROPE.  THE PEOPLE DIDN’T LIKE THEM HOWEVER, AS THEY WERE SUNG IN LATIN AND THEY COULD NOT UNDERSTAND THEM.  BY THE Middle Ages, PEOPLE HAD LOST INTEREST IN CHRISTMAS ALL TOGETHER.  

CHRISTMAS BECAME POPULAR AGAIN WHEN FRANCIS OF ASSISI IN 1223 STARTED HIS NATIVITY PLAYS IN ITALY.  THE PEOPLE IN THESE PLAYS SANG “CANTICLES”.  THESE NEW “CHRISTMAS CAROLS WERE WRITTEN IN A LANGUAGE MOST PEOPLE COULD UNDERSTAND, SO THE SONGS SPREAD ALL OVER EUROPE.  AFTER THIS, TRAVELING SINGERS CALLED “MINSTRELS”, WOULD SING THESE SONGS IN PUBLIC.  WHEN THE PURITANS CAME INTO POWER IN THE 1640’S, THE CELEBRATION OF CHRISTMAS WAS STOPPED.  HOWEVER, THE CAROLS SURVIVED, AND PEOPLE SANG THEM IN SECRET.  OFFICIAL CAROL SINGERS IN THIS TIME PERIOD WERE KNOWN AS WAITS.  IT IS SAID THAT ANGELS APPEARED BEFORE THEM INSPIRING THEM OF THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC.  ALSO AT THIS TIME, MANY CHOIRS AND ORCHESTRAS WERE BEING SET UP ALL OVER ENGLAND AND PEOPLE WANTED THE CHRISTMAS SONGS TO BE SUNG SO THEY BECAME POPULAR AGAIN.  ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR CHRISTMAS CAROLS SERVICE HAD CANDLELIGHT WHICH THE SONGS WERE SUNG WITH.  

THE MOST FAMOUS TYPE OF CAROL SERVICE MIGHT BE “A FESTIVAL OF NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS” WHERE CAROLS AND BIBLE READINGS TELL THE CHRISTMAS STORY.  THIS SERVICE WAS CREATED AND FORMED BY EDWARD BENSON IN 1880.  HE WAS THE NEWLY APPOINTED BISHOP IN CORNWALL IN THE UK.  BISHOP BENSON SOON BECAME THE ARCHBISHOP OF CANTERBURY.  THE ACTUAL SERVICE TOOK PLACE IN A WOODEN BUILDING WHILE THE CATHEDRAL WAS BEING REBUILT.  IT WAS HELD AT 10:00PM ON CHRISTMAS EVE.  THE IDEA OF THIS SERVICE BECAME QUITE POPULAR, AND MADE VERY FAMOUS BY THE CHOIR OF KINGS COLLEGE IN 1918 AS A WAY OF THE COLLEGE CELEBRATING THE ENDING OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR.  THE NEW COLLEGE DEAN, ERIC MILNER-WHITE CHANGED THE OPENING CAROL TO BE “ONCE IN ROYAL DAVID’S CITY” AND SET THE ORDER OF THE LESSONS/MEANING AS IT IS STILL TODAY.

THERE IS MUCH MORE TO THE EVOLVEMENT OF THIS STORY IF YOU WISH TO READ IT.  YOU CAN FIND THIS AT WHYCHRISTMAS.COM.   THIS WAS THE TRUE BEGINNING OF THE CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT VIGIL SERVICE AND GOES ON TODAY ALL AROUND THE WORLD.  I THANK YOU FOR READING ABOUT CHRISTMAS CAROLS WITH ME, AND WISH YOU AND YOURS A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.  

ONE LAST TIDBIT I WOULD LIKE TO MENTION IS IF YOU’VE NEVER BEEN TO A CANDLELIGHT SERVICE ON Christmas Eve WHERE YOU’LL HEAR THE CHRISTMAS STORY, THERE IS NOTHING QUITE LIKE IT.  I HAVE YET TO GO TO ONE, WHERE I DID NOT CRY AND THIS FORM OF CRYING SEEMS TO ALWAYS CLEANSE MY SOUL.  I AM SO MOVED BY THE CANDLELIGHT VIGIL ON Christmas Eve WITH MY FAMILY IT PUTS ME IN THE TRUEST SENSE OF THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT, AND I AM SO GRATEFUL I WENT.  CHRISTMAS FOR ME, WOULDN’T BE THE SAME WITHOUT GOING TO THIS SERVICE.  

AGAIN, HAVE THE HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS NO MATTER HOW/IF YOU CELEBRATE.  GOD BLESS YOU ALL!

Samantha Leboeuf/Daily Wisdom Words             website:  dailywisdomwords.com. visit us on Facebook in our group for daily wisdom words members and friends.  we would love to have you join our  

OTHER CHRISTMAS HISTORY ARTICLES THAT MAY INTEREST YOU: https://dailywisdomwords.com/christmas-history-of-the-christmas-cookie-12-22-19/

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