Over at Church Music Today, we posted about new Christmas carols to use in worship in the local church. At my church this year, we are purposely teaching kids three Christmas hymns to sing as they lead one Sunday in worship. Why? We believe that the kids need to know the songs, simply put.
We live in a world today, where there is much distraction. In the church specifically there are similar distractions: the Christmas hymns are in the possible rotation for worship music potentially only three Sundays each year, there are newer songs we want to introduce, etc.
I think we, as church leaders, need to work harder to teach children hymns, but even more specifically, Christmas hymns.
How tragic for my children to grow up not knowing The First Noel or O Little Town of Bethlehem!
Hymns (songs in a verse/chorus format; strophic in nature) help teach repetitive songs to the singer and apply Biblical texts in a way that is easy to memorize. Many remember children songs learned at an early age, but cannot remember sermons from an early age.
Though it is tempting to sing the newest Christmas song from a mainstream Christian artist, we need to concentrate our efforts to sing the Christmas hymns of old, so that they are not quickly forgotten. As we purposefully plan, do things to strengthen the longevity of these songs by singing ALL the verses, and utilizing these traditional hymns for special music opportunities such as offertories, choir anthems, etc.
If you wander away from the timeless classic carols, be sure to use new material from modern hymn writers Keith and Kristyn Getty like this. Moreover, look at the recent Christmas Worship album from Worship Leader, Paul Baloche. As with all songs, even the classic carols, double check scriptural truths presented and do your best to mold what you sing to what your pastor preaches.
Do your part in continuing the legacy of the timeless hymns of the Christmas genre by singing the Biblical songs that celebrate Christ’s birth!
(image via google search)