Sunday, January 06, 2008

Christmas Carols

I find myself wondering, at this time of the Church Year, if the congregation is sick of Christmas Carols yet. Personally, I know that I start to get sick of them when I hear them in the stores at the beginning of October...and it only goes downhill from there.

So, by Ephiphany, when we're still singing We Three Kings and I'm playing a prelude on What Child is This, does the congregation think, "ugh, this again?" when they hear it or have to sing it? I mean, I'm certainly not thinking of changing the hymn selections for this feast just because people are sick of them-they're so ideal to this feast, but what about my prelude selections? Have people heard every possible instrumental arrangement of "What Child is This" while shopping throughout December and on the radio?

Do normal people whose lives aren't so musically oriented even get sick of songs? (any kind, not just Christmas Carols-I've never heard of anyone except musicians being "sick of" Pachelbel's Canon...)

My question is just that, should I program preludes that aren't famous carols for the Christmas Season?


Anonymous said...

Heck yeah I get sick of "We Three Kings" and the Epiphany music...I think the problem is just that the Epiphany selection in the hymnal is too sparse.

Anonymous said...

its funny...I think people may indeed be sick of hearing them, BUT not necessarily of singing them. To actually sing along with the words and sing the hymn through...don't you think that is something that is still fresh for people?

Gavin said...

I try to use enough variety that I don't have to repeat anything (even at the different Christmas Masses) This does include using some unfamiliar material, but there's nothing wrong with repeating the same carols year after year!

The carols I used this year include: Lo How a Rose, Once in Royal David's City, Angels we have Heard on High, The First Noel, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, Ecce Nomen Domini, Infant Holy, Adeste Fideles (in Latin), Puer Natus in Bethlehem, In Dulci Jubilo (English/original Latin), while shepherds watched, of the Father's Love, Angels from the Realms of Glory, What Child is This, Joy to the World, and finally yesterday We Three Kings! Of course this isn't even mentioning what I used for organ music! I'm certainly not tired of it, and for the first time I'm sad to see Christmas go away.

lvschant said...

In previous years, I used to be one who began playing Christmas music at home on the stereo almost as soon as the stores began putting out Christmas decorations... I now try to avoid that at home as much as possible to enjoy the season of Advent. As a result... not being much of a shopper... I haven't been hearing that much Christmas music until it is actually CHRISTMAS. I find it makes me a great deal less tired of the music once the season has actually arrived. I am now missing the Christmas carols since Christmas is officially over :)

Janet (vox feminae)

Brian Michael Page said...

I don't get sick of it at all by Epiphany - at least not in terms of real Christmas Carols.

The problem lies when the secular world (especially in the retail industry) thinks that Christmas begins on All Saints Day and ends on Christmas Day, instead of Christmas beginning on Christmas and ending at our Lord's Baptism.

Therefore, if you've programmed such carols as We 3 Kings, the 1st Nowell, What Child Is This, etc. for Epiphany, it's not your fault that the misguided may grow sick of it. You're doing your job.