Singing Christmas Carols
A carol is defined as a song of rejoicing, usually associated with festive occasions and religious celebrations. The first Christmas carol was sung by the angels who announced the birth of Christ to the shepherds in the fields near Bethlehem. Since that time many carols have been sung to honor the birth of Jesus. In fact, more that 500 English carols from the 15th century still survive, with the earliest printed copy of a carol that still exists being the "Boar's Head" carol.
The custom of singing carols declined during the mid-1600's because the Puritans, who were in power in England at that time, disapproved of feasts and celebrations. They felt they were a waste of time that could be used to serve God. Interest in singing carols revived as the Puritans lost political power.
Today's carols celebrate the many traditions that have become a part of Christmas today, such as sleigh rides, building snowmen, giving food and gifts to others, Santa Claus, the reindeer, bell ringing, and caroling. They also memorialize the manger, the star of Bethlehem, the wise men, the shepherds, and the animals that attended the birth that special night.
Look up the words to your favorite Christmas carols.
Click on the first letter of the title (do not count the word "the") to find your song.