This evening concluded five glorious Christmas Concerts at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, CA. These concerts were presented as a Christmas Card to the community, and the gift goes on. In fact, every 2 hours from Monday, December 23, thru Wednesday, December 25 they will be rebroadcast right here.
I was hoping to write regarding Isaiah 9 today, but I’m going to hold off until the New Year because I want to set you up with a playlist the whole family can enjoy and focus on the birth of the Saviour. For some of these songs I’ve added my own commentary or memories, and I’d love if you would add any songs that are special to you in the comments. Make it your Christmas Gift to ParkingSpace23.
Alright, without further ado, here we go a caroling…
Hallelujah Chorus, by G.F. Handel from the Messiah
While Handel wrote this Chorus to be sung in his oratorio after the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ, this song is certainly a favorite of many around Christmas time.
O Magnum Mysterium
O great mystery,and wonderful sacrament,
That animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb was worthy to bear Christ the Lord.
Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
I have to add this one, because it just reminds me of Christmas as a kid. My mother loves this song, and Christmas isn’t complete until I’ve heard it.
Mary’s Magnificat (Holy Is His Name)
This isn’t a well-known song, but it’s a beautiful interpretation of Mary’s words upon finding out from the Angel Gabriel that she was going to bear the Son of God (Luke 1:46-55).
Lo! How a Rose E’er Blooming
This has always been one of my favorite carols.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
This is my friend Christian Ebner, with whom I had the opportunity to sing with the last two years in the Grace Community Church Christmas Concerts. His Christmas albums is one I listen to a lot during the Christmas season. Check it out on iTunes. I love the textual changes he makes to this classic carol and really causes us to focus upon the meaning of Christmas.
All is Well
Michael W. Smith has a couple great Christmas Albums. These are two of my favorite of his.
Born To Die
I just discovered this song this year, and believe you need to listen to this.
Amy Grant is the Queen of the Christmas Album. This was on her first one, and it clearly reflects on the awe of Jesus leaving His rightful throne to redeem sinful man.
Breath of Heaven
Amy followed up with this song, sung by every teenage girl in the 90s, but it still is a great song.
Not That Far From Bethlehem
Welcome To Our World
One of the most haunting melodies, sung by one of the most haunting voices and accompanied by Yo-Yo Ma. It doesn’t get better than this.
Mary, Did You Know?
Jubilant Sykes performed this song written by a harmonica player and a comedian at the Grace Community Church Christmas Concert again this year, and it gives me chills to hear it every time.
Jesus, Joy of the Highest Heaven
If you’ve read any of my past blogs, you’ll know that I always have to insert a Keith & Kristyn Getty song reference in somehow.
This song unfolds the drama and excitement of that first Christmas night
Mariah Carey needs to sing more about this aspect of Christmas than all she wants for Christmas.
Our God is With Us
Steven Curtis Chapman is so gifted, and even though his album The Music of Christmas came out in 1995, it’s still one of my favorites.
It Wasn’t His Child
How often do we think of Joseph’s perspective AFTER the nativity story? This song reflects on that.
O Holy Night
Another plug for the GCC Christmas Concerts…I present to you Phil Webb
Adeste Fideles (O Come All Ye Faithful)
I love that a local radio station DJ loves to play this Celine Dion arrangement at Christmas time. It’s wonderful to hear the Christ of Christmas exalted in a secular world. Let’s just pray that the message of the music penetrates the hearts of those listening. Have you ever done that? Taken a moment to pray for the listening audience when you hear these kinds of songs going over the airwaves? Start now.
Nothing to add to this… except check out those sleeves!
Mary’s Boy Child/Oh My Lord
From the sublime to the absolute ridiculous. I grew up with Boney M being synonymous with Christmas. If you’re not familiar with them, they were a Jamaican Disco group that took world by storm, and their Christmas album will be playing in my house this Christmas and for many more to come.
and just because…
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR from ParkingSpace23!!