How to Sing Christmas Carols

“Glorious, now, behold Him arise!
King and God and Sacrifice!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!”

We hear it every Christmas—praises, singing, lifting up His holy name.

“O Come let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord!”

From blended voices in the choir loft, beautiful music reaches every corner of the sanctuary and halls. During Christmas in particular, the celebration seems incomplete without worshipful songs. Bows on string instruments pull their parts, and the orchestra bows together in the genuflection of notes and dynamics and a perfect execution of Handel’s “Messiah.”

In our home, before lighting Advent candles for four Sundays before Christmas, we sing.

As the music multiplies during this holiday, I consider a prophet’s words:

“Then I will purify the speech of all people,
so that everyone can worship the LORD together.”

– Zephaniah 3:9

If our speech is not pure—if we are not living Ephesians 4:29, how can we worship the Lord together?

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

– Ephesians 4:29

We need pure speech for corporate worship.

In all my Christmas worship, with songs coming from our lips, our stereo, our church choir and my own voice, I must consider:

How is my speech?

How do I speak? Would the Lord call it pure?

What is my tone of voice when I tell the children to do their chores? Do I choose good, pure words when I try to disentangle a miscommunication with my husband or a friend? When I hang up the phone after an annoying conversation, what are my words behind the caller’s back? After a worship service, how do I speak with my brothers and sisters in these pews—the same people with whom I sang in unison, “He rules the world with truth and grace” and other God-exalting carols?

Father, as I worship this Christmas, may I also speak with purity, grace, encouragement and every word pleasing to You.


(This week Ann Voskamp hosts a community of those who share about The Advent Practice of Preparation. Click on the Holy Experience badge below to read more community posts on Preparation!)

(Also linking with Bonnie Gray this week. Click on the FaithBarista badge below to read more community posts on Unwrapping Jesus!)



5 thoughts on “How to Sing Christmas Carols

  1. As I prepare to sing Christmas songs tonight in corporate worship, I need to carefully consider my speech during this day. Is it pure? Is it also worshipful?

    Thanks for making me think, Monica. You have a way of doing that often. :-)

  2. Great question! Oh I love how the Body can spur one another on to love and good deeds. Thanks for being His mouthpiece today. So that beautiful music can be made tomorrow!

  3. Well, I think your wiseman is much more attractive than that stump but I am impressed by your imagination! Love this post, M. You know, it’s during busy seasons like Christmas that I tend to let my tongue go places it shouldn’t. Irritability creeps in with fatigue. This is a good reminder.

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