Holy Days were set apart by the Lord for His people to remember, to remember Him, and to remember His grace and mercy to His people.Have we lost “holy days” today?
Holidays bring our families closer together, build memories, and help enforce historical religious events. We can use historical holidays as reminders of our past. Columbus Day, Veterans Day, and Memorial Day are all good days to remember important events in our American History.Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter are important Christian days. The secular world works hard to take God out of Thanksgiving and Christ out of Christmas – let’s work hard to keep Him where He belongs.
Thanksgiving is an important day for Christians as well – a time to remember to thank God for what He’s done for us, just as the Pilgrims thanked Him almost 400 years ago.Contrary to what any might tell you – it is a religious holiday with religious beginnings.Continental Congress issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation in 1782 that began, “It being the indispensable duty of all Nations, not only to offer up their supplications to ALMIGHTY GOD, the giver of all good, for His gracious assistance in a time of distress, but also in a solemn and public manner to give Him praise for all His goodness in general…”And in 1789, President Washington signed a similar proclamation that began, “Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour…” (Both those proclamations would be in danger of being declared “unconstitutional” these days!)
I understand that not all Christians celebrate Christmas.But our family has made the choice to celebrate it.Starting the fourth Sunday before Christmas, we begin celebrating Advent – this is such a good time to reflect on the prophesies of Christ’s birth, on the events surrounding His birth, and the reasons for it. (Our need of a Savior – Christmas points us to the Cross and the Resurrection!)We enjoy our favorite Christmas hymns, many of which contain the gospel message.
 Advent looks forward to the “coming of Christ”.It is typically celebrated the 4 Sundays prior to Christmas with an Advent Wreath and 4 candles.An additional candle is lit each week – usually along with some scriptures, songs, and treats.Some groups consider the 4 candles to stand for: Hope, Peace, Joy, and Love; while others consider them to stand for The Prophets, Angels, Shepherds, and Magi.An additional candle in the midst of the wreath represents Christ, and is generally lit on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.We learned about and embraced the tradition while living in Germany many years ago.
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Early hymns were written and sung in Latin,just as early church services were conducted in Latin, and the scriptures used in the churches had been translated into Latin.As the Middle Ages were ending, carols and other hymns began to be written in the language of “the common man”.Martin Luther was one of the first to write hymns in German, and to translate the old Latin hymns into German.Over time the early hymns were translated into English, and many new hymns were written in English.
In this 40-page booklet, I have included the traditional CHRISTmas carols that most of us grew up singing, as well as some of the older ones that most of us missed out on!
I have tried to include the Language/Country that each carol originated in, the author of the words, sometimes the composer of the tune, and the approximate dates of the carol, often including when it was translated into English.*
I have included most or all of the verses I found, depending on the length of the carol.