If you’ve got an Anglican hymn book such the Episcopalian 1940 hymnal or the Book of Common Praise 2017, you may have noticed that there are about sixteen gajillion Christmas songs in there. Okay, between 50 and 60. Still, that’s too many to sing in 12 short days, unlike most seasons in which the number of hymns are easily confined to the Sundays of their time of year. On top of that, many churches have a tendency to stick with the seasonal songs their members know best, and repeat a core repertoire every year… not to mention those who who add in contemporary songs.
But hymnals exist for a very good reason: analogous to the Prayer Book, they serve to provide us with a set of authorized-and-approved words by which we may worship God and ourselves be edified in return. With scores of Christmas songs available to us but untouched, who knows what we might be missing out on!
To that end I would suggest that one way to explore the lengthy Christmas section of a hymnal would be to appoint one or two hymns each day to the Daily Office or other regular devotions on your own. With over fifty songs for this little season, and accounting for an Epiphany section beginning on January 6th, you can stretch Christmas an entire 40 days to its final wrap-up holy day of the year: The Presentation of our Lord in the Temple and the Purification of Mary (February 2nd).
Eventually this Customary will have a sample “hymnal in a year” plan but for now feel free to try out some of these principles on your own!
2 thoughts on “All those extra Christmas Carols”