O sing all ye faithful – it’s that time of the year again!
The celebration of the birth of Jesus has long been celebrated in song, and well-loved Christmas carols continue to be at the very heart of the seasonal tradition.
Even in our increasingly secular society, carol services are still incredibly popular with many people from various background and especially at Whitewell where people converge on the Tabernacle from all over the province every year to sing their hearts out
The service usually consists of hymns about Christmas and readings from the gospels telling the Christmas story; however, this year’s line-up is extremely exciting and imaginative and includes lots of additional interesting items.
Mention Christmas carols and most people, of course, can identify with carols rather than hymns. Tunes like Silent Night, O, Come all ye Faithful, ‘O Little Town of Bethlehem’, O Holy Night, In the Bleak Mid-Winter, and of course, the popular and well-renowned carol; - Hark the Herald Angels Sing – a masterpiece inspired by two great former servants of God.
For example, the co‐founder of Methodism Charles Wesley wrote a beautiful carol that began:
Hark how all the welkin rings
Glory to the King of Kings
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled.
And that’s how the carol went for 20 years until another established preacher called George Whitefield published a new version that went: Hark, the herald angels sing Glory to the new-born King- a version which has lasted until today.
Apparently, Wesley wasn’t best pleased with the change due to some theological point, but then we are talking about two passionate preachers, aren’t we?
There’s just something so timelessly beautiful about carols such as Hark the Herald Angels Sing and other well-known arrangements like Away in a Manger; O Come, O come, Emmanuel, Once in Royal David’s City, Joy to the World, The First Nowell, We Three Kings, Ding Dong Merrily on High and lots, lots more.
The good news is many of the carols mentioned above are on the menu at our big Christmas 2019 carol event this year, but that’s not all we’re serving up. Leading worship is Daniel and Kezia Montgomery and the Church Praise Team. Also ministering will be our Well Band, Junior Choir, Rebecca Hanley and the faithful Tabernacle Choir who will be fresh from their 2019 musical performance – The Shepherds and the King. Other items include drama by Chris Maguire and a short closing word from our Senior Pastor, David Purse. Rumour also has it that a very special visitor is arriving at the end of the night to see the children.
The highlight, however, will undoubtedly be the chance for people of all backgrounds to come together and sing again some of the wonderful carols we’ve become accustomed. Because Christmas carols remain a staple of the secular family celebration as much as the Church’s celebration of the feast, here is a great opportunity to invite our friends and family to church who may not have given their hearts to Jesus.
And there’s even still time to invite someone for this Sunday’s event which starts at 6.4 pm. It’s going to be another awesome time in God’s House!