It's Christmas time. And what better time to take a look at the Christmas hymns in The Hymnal 1982? In particular, we will be looking at the less commonly sung hymns in the Christmas section. You may wish to begin with part 1 of this series, or refresh your memory on part 2
We're using a scale of 1 to 10 with 1 being the least popular and 10 being the most popular. (On this scale, we cranked it up to 11 for hymns which are unbelievably popular.) Here we look at hymns that still score fairly highly, starting with 7's and then 6's.
We now arrive at an area where some personal preference plays a larger role. No Christmas service would be considered "incomplete" without these hymns, but it's also fairly common to have one or more included.
Tangent: It is now my duty to send you to this very naughty reharm of the final stanza by David Briggs.
My church singing "Go Tell It On the Mountain" this morning: pic.twitter.com/oI2AMMbHN4— Matthew Corbett (@MatthewjCorbett) December 29, 2013
This next batch of hymns all happen to mention the words "earth" or "snow" which, incidentally, is something that periodically falls to earth in the Northern Hemisphere this time of year.
The Hymnal 1982 Companion declares: "this carol gained almost immediate favor with congregaetions soon after its first appearance in an Episcopal hymnal in [The Hymnal 1940]. It's popularity continues to this day." Please note I am not a cradle Episcopalian, so I just missed out on this.
Please also note that it contains a delightful reference to "holy Anne".
Congregational "In the Bleak". But only his mother, In her maiden bliss-s-s-s-s-s-s Wor-Wor-Worshipped the... http://t.co/eOxghFgFRV— Jonathan Hope (@jonathanhope1) December 29, 2013
The end of that reads:
With a kisssssssssssss. s. s."
It's funny because it's true.
Indeed, other denominational hymnals have been quick to embrace the hymn. The version of this hymn in the Presbyterian Hymnal (1990) should be mentioned here for it's substitution of the words "mighty Gitchi Manitou" for the Episcopal book's "God the Lord of all the earth".
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