Church Music: Christmas Carols in December

This coming Sunday, December 12, I am serving as the worship leader at State College E-Free Church (SCEFC). I’ve been trying to decide how many traditional Christmas carols to incorporate into the set list. I grew up attending a church that sang only carols in December. In the years I’ve been at SCEFC there has not been a consistent handing of music in December. Some years no carols appeared until the week of Christmas, in other years they appeared in early December.

My current inclination is to incorporate two carols into the main set and use another one as the closing song. This would provide a 50-50 split between traditional carols and regular songs.

The theme I’ve been focusing on for Sunday is our need for a Savior. Over the past several days I’ve been toying with a main set list that incorporates O Come, O Come, Emmanuel and Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. This is what I’m currently leaning toward:

Prelude: (G) Refuge In You
(A) Mighty to Save
(Em) O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
(E) Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
(E) We Fall Down
Closing: Joy to the World

I’m curious if any of my readers have any thoughts or opinions regarding church music selection in December. Do you like singing traditional carols? Do you have any you really like or dislike?


Filed under Worship Leading

5 responses to “Church Music: Christmas Carols in December

  1. kateintheshade

    I really love singing carols in December. There are many carols that are worshipful and it seems a pity to me NOT to sing carols when there are only a few weeks in the advent season.
    That said, I also know people who will sing SOME songs in the weeks leading up to Christmas, but will save others for Christmas day (for example, I don’t remember ever singing “Joy to the World” until Christmas Day in college, since the song is specifically about celebrating Jesus’ arrival. Maybe that song is the Christmas equivalent to “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” in some circles.)
    I really love your song choices, though! O Come O Come Emmanuel is a favorite of mine.

    • Thanks for the comment Kate. I really enjoy carols too. I associate many of them with the Sunday prior to Christmas or a Christmas Eve service (though funny enough “Joy to the World” isn’t one of those in my mind), but I grew up singing them throughout December.

  2. Adam

    “Joy to the World” is actually about Christ’s second coming, though obviously works well for the first, too!

  3. Chris

    There is one carol that is, how shall we say, “stupendous”…

    • It’s my favorite carol that I have never sung corporately. Someday I might use “Where is this Stupendous Stranger?” in a set list. After all the years of being amused by the title, however, I’m afraid I might start laughing.

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