Matthew Starner lists his favorite Christmas worship resources:
Like I’m sure many of you would probably agree, Christmas has always been one of my favorite times in the church year. Spiritually, the incarnation and birth of our Savior is one of the most important parts of Christianity (without Jesus’ birth, there’s no suffering, death and resurrection…) but it’s also a time filled with nostalgia and memories of Christmases past. The scale of Christmas makes it that way. There aren’t really any Ascension Days or Trinity Sundays that stand out in my memory, but give me enough time and I can probably recall something from most of the Christmases I was old enough to remember.
Music in general is attached to emotion and memories, but Christmas music is especially so. Every time I sing Silent Night, I remember the candlelight services we had at church growing up. Every time I sing O Holy Night, I remember hearing Bing Crosby’s version playing on the radio as we drove home from the hospital the year my mom almost died. And every time I hear Jingle Bells, I’m reminded of when I was little and singing it while my grandmother played the organ in her living room – in July! (Because when you’re 5, it’s OK to sing Christmas music all year!)
It seems almost unnecessary to list out Christmas music, but I hope you’ll find or be reminded of a jewel you didn’t know was out there.
It would be really easy to do an entire post on each one of these songs because there are just so many good renditions of them out there. I’ve listed a few that we’ve used in the past and some notes on the arrangements.
- Chris Tomlin’s Glory In the Highest version is great (Just buy the whole album already. It’s the first Christmas album that actually sounds like worship.) BUT there’s an acoustic version that came out a few years back on the WOW Christmas Green album by Chris that’s a much different sound than the other.
- Third Day’s Christmas Offerings version is solid.
- Don Chapman from Hymncharts.com has a good arrangement that we’ve used several times.
- A straightforward arrangement I did a few years back.