Monday, December 02, 2019

Music For A Festive Season

Image from Pixabay

Then the singing enveloped me. It was furry and
resonant, coming from everyone's very heart. There
was no sense of performance or judgement, only
that the music was breath and food.

It's the time of year when my heart grows hungry for the singing of Christmas carols. Not just to hear them being played on the radio, CD player, or live streaming, but to sing them with real flesh and blood people lifting our voices as one, breathing new life into the old lyrics that offer a weary world consolation, hope, and joy.

Music was a central part of my childhood. My mother was the pianist in our church and I always loved to hear her play. She'd often play at home and I'd sit next to her on the piano bench as I attempted the melody line in the higher register. Maybe that's when I first learned to love Christmas carols. For it was my mom who taught me, as a four or five-year-old, to sing the beloved children's carol Away In A Manger. I was to sing this little song at our church Christmas Eve service that year. Except as I still vividly remember I had a case of stage fright, and there wasn't anything Mom could whisper as she knelt in front of me that encouraged me to open my mouth and sing those lines I knew so perfectly. Mom finally led me off the platform. No longer standing there with everyone watching, relief flooded my little soul. And, then suddenly I was ready to climb back on the stage to sing, but it was too late. My moment to shine had passed. Fifty-five odd years later and I still remember that moment as clear as ever.

Yesterday, we attended our first Christmas concert of the season. The musicians played with joy and confidence and the choral singers sang like angels -- the harmonies and descant in certain spots were positively spine tingling. When the audience was invited to join for a short carol sing, oh my, I felt a catch at the back of my throat. With a rousing intro on the pipe organ, the rafters rang as we sang The First Noel, It Came Upon A Midnight Clear, and Hark the Herald Angels Sang. Everyone together. For me, it was bliss!

I wait for it every year ... that moment when I can join in the sweet refrains of an old, old story that's once again sung by people around the world. 

Let heaven and nature sing,
Let heaven and nature sing...

* * *

Wishing you a heart full of song this week.



  1. I grew up in a college town and we always went to the Christmas musicals for the holidays. Good memories! Happy holidays!

  2. Wonderful! I miss the concerts I used to attend when I was younger and cost was not a consideration. Perhaps I’ll look for a church choir giving a special program. If not, I will content myself with singing along with the radio. I felt a bit sad for the five-year old you who got stage fright and then found your voice too late; however, it is never too late to sing. Thank you for another lovely post.

  3. I love the music of Christmas! Not Frosty the snowman, or Jingle Bells, but the songs of His coming! I never get tired of singing those! Sunday at church was so delightful, standing with my family and the church body singing together!

  4. We sang Christmas Carols too on Sunday in Church. Joy to the world rang out!
    and my heart soared as we all lifted our voices to heaven!
    It reminded me of our little church so many years ago!!
    As usual I loved you post!!

  5. The Christmas concert sounds delightful in every way! There is nothing like the music of Christmas! Love the story of 5-year-old Brenda and the fact that you remember it so clearly.

  6. This is beautiful, Bren. I do not believe there is anything more lovely than a church filled with happy hearts during the Christmas and singing beautiful carols. My favorite is 'O Holy Night.'

  7. I can relate to the catch in the throat, when singing these old familiar songs.

  8. Oh, the thought of 'furry' singing! Somehow one knows exactly what is meant.

  9. I listen to Christmas songs on the radio all the time. I need to see if there are any local concerts...

  10. Music seems to be such a big part of our Christmas celebrations. Loved your "stage fright" story and that you remember it so well so many years later. I remember my first piano "performance"...I was about 8 or 9 years old and it was at our church's Christmas Program. I played "We Three Kings" and was quite startled by the sudden applause when I finished (I don't think I was that good, everyone was just being polite I'm sure). I've played the piano for many years since and still remember that first nervous feeling.

  11. Yes Brenda there is nothing sweeter than singing those well loved Christmas carols with other voices joining together. Thanks for sharing your sweet memory - I certainly understand stage fright. Have a blessed weekend - hugs!

  12. There is nothing like the traditional carols of the season! I grew up singing harmony with my 7 brothers and sisters and I particularly have sweet memories of ushering the Christmas season on Thanksgiving Day after the meal was eaten and the dishes were done. My brothers would get out their instruments (guitar and mandolin) and we would all join together singing every Christmas carol we knew. My favorite time was when it started to snow as we were singing!

  13. I, too, grew up with music. My mother taught my sister and I to sing "O Come Little Children" in German and when we went to our grandparents' home for Christmas, we sang it at the church Christmas Eve Service. We did manage to get through it - perhaps because there were two of us! My what a memory you sparked with your post.

    I love singing Christmas carols. Yesterday in chapel at school we had an abbreviated Lessons and Carols service and how I enjoyed singing those old familiar songs.

  14. As a primary music teacher, my Christmas is ALL about singing carols and songs and I love it!!! It's been hard these past 2 years though as I keep losing my voice so when it's the weekend and my time to sing carols, I am croaking my way through Christmas! But still, I love it!
    Next week, I have my two carol services!


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo