Christmas time is a special time.  I think we all feel that.  One of the reasons that I feel it is such a special time, is because Christmas music has a special way of inviting the spirit.  This is because the spirit testifies of truth no matter what, and Christmas time is the one time all year, that everyone has Christmas music playing, and the likelihood of feeling that spirit of truth is greatly increased.  The spirit confirms all truth, and Christmas music is full of truth, whether we fully realize it or not.

As part of this Christmas season, and in a very real effort to invite that spirit into all of our lives, I am listing 5 of my favorite Christmas songs, that contain some of the most powerful phrases that we may or may not realize we are singing or hearing.

  1. O Holy Night

One of my absolute favorites is O Holy Night, which was originally a French poem (Minuit, Chrétiens) which means Midnight, Christians.1 I am including the English (traditional translation) with the literal (non-traditional) translation, since I think if we know where it came from, it may help.


Oh Holy Night

The stars are brightly shining

It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees O hear the angels voices.

O night divine O night when Christ was born

O night divine, O night, O night divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,

With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.

So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,

Here came the wise men from Orient land.

The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;

In all our trials born to be our friend.

He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,

Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;

And in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,

Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,

His power and glory evermore proclaim.

O night divine, O night, O night divine


Midnight, Christians, is the solemn hour,

When God as man descended unto us

To erase the stain of original sin

And to end the wrath of His Father.

The entire world thrills with hope

On this night that gives it a Saviour.

People, kneel down, await your deliverance.

Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,

Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!

May the ardent light of our Faith

Guide us all to the cradle of the infant,

As in ancient times a brilliant star

Guided the Oriental kings there.

The King of Kings was born in a humble manger;

O mighty ones of today, proud of your greatness,

It is to your pride that God preaches.

Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

Bow your heads before the Redeemer!

The Redeemer has broken every bond:

The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.

He sees a brother where there was only a slave,

Love unites those that iron had chained.

Who will tell Him of our gratitude,

For all of us He is born, He suffers and dies.

People, stand up! Sing of your deliverance,

Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,

Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!

  1. Still, Still, Still

Another of my favorites has always been still, still, still.  We actually sang this in our choir performance yesterday, and our director, in an inspired effort included a little handout with the ward program that included the words to all of the songs that we sang, and my wife mentioned to me that she had never really read the words to this song.

Still, still, still,

One can hear the falling snow.

For all is hushed,

The world is sleeping,

Holy Star its vigil keeping.

Still, still, still,

One can hear the falling snow.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,

‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

The night is peaceful all around you,

Close your eyes,

Let sleep surround you.

Sleep, sleep, sleep,

‘Tis the eve of our Saviour’s birth.

Dream, dream, dream,

Of the joyous day to come.

While guardian angels without number,

Watch you as you sweetly slumber.

Dream, dream, dream,

Of the joyous day to come.

  1. Silent Night

Silent night is such a Christmas classic, that we often forget how much of a powerhouse it is.  As a note, I like to change the wording in verse 2 (Radiant to Radiance), and verse 3 (Glories stream to Glory streams) since President Dalquist instructed us to when I was in high school.  I’ve never been able to sing it any other way since then.  Please note the use of exclamation points in this soft lullaby.

Silent night! Holy night!

All is calm, all is bright

Round yon virgin, mother and Child.

Holy infant, tender and mild,

Sleep in heavenly peace;

Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night! Holy night!

Shepherds quake at the sight!

Glory streams from heaven afar

Heav’nly hosts sing Alleluia!

Christ the Savior is born!

Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night! Holy night!

Son of God, love’s pure light

Radiance beams from thy holy face,

With the dawn of redeeming grace,

Jesus, Lord at thy birth

Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

  1. Joy to the World

If there was ever a Christmas song that you can’t sing loud enough, it might be this one.  Our choir sang this while being accompanied by both the piano and the organ – and even when the congregation joined in for the 4th verse, it wasn’t nearly loud enough.  This is the one song that I relate very directly to the choirs of angels referenced in Luke 2:13-14.

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King!

Let ev’ry heart prepare him room,

And Saints and angels sing.

And Saints and angles sing,

And Saints, and saints and angels sing.

Rejoice! Rejoice when Jesus reigns

And saints their songs employ,

While fields and floods, rocks, hills, and plains

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat the sounding joy,

Repeat, repeat the sounding joy

No more will sin and sorrow grow,

Nor thorns infest the ground;

He’ll come and make the blessings flow

Far as the curse was found,

Far as the curse was found,

Far as, far as the curse was found

Rejoice! Rejoice in the Most High,

While Israel spreads abroud

Like stars that glitter in the sky,

And ever worship God,

And ever worship God,

And ever, and ever worship God.

  1. In the Bleak Midwinter

This is a relatively unknown Christmas song, but the message is still crystal clear, and is sung by many great artists.

In the bleak mid-winter

Frosty wind made moan,

Earth stood hard as iron,

Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

Snow on snow,

In the bleak midwinter

Long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty,

Jesus Christ.

Angels and archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air –

But only His mother

In her maiden bliss

Worshipped the Beloved

With a kiss.

What can I give Him,

Poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd

I would bring a lamb;

If I were a wise man

I would do my part;

Yet what I can, I give Him

Give my heart.

Other notable lines/phrases:

He came down to earth from heaven,

Who is God and Lord of all,

And his shelter was a stable,

And his cradle was a stall;

With the poor, and mean, and lowly,

Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And our eyes at last shall see him,

Through his own redeeming love;

For that child so dear and gentle

Is our Lord in heav’n above,

And he leads his children on

To the place where he is gone.

(Once in Royal David’s City)

Be near me, Lord Jesus; I ask thee to stay

Close by me forever, and love me, I pray.

Bless all the dear children in thy tender care,

And fit us for heaven to live with thee there.

(Away in a Manager)

How silently, how silently

The wondrous gift is giv’n!

So God imparts to human hearts

The blessings of his heav’n.

No ear may hear his coming;

But in this world of sin,

Where meek souls will receive him, still

The dear Christ enters in.

(O Little Town of Bethlehem)

Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!

Hail the Son of Righteousness!

Light and life to all he brings,

Ris’n with healing in his wings.

Mild he lays his glory by,

Born that man no more may die;

Born to raise the sons of earth,

Born to give them second birth.

(Hark! The Herald Angels Sing)

Ring in the valiant men and free,

The larger heart, the kindlier hand.

Ring out the darkness of the land;

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

Ring out the darkness of the land;

Ring in the Christ that is to be.

(Ring Out, Wild Bells)

What child is this, who, laid to rest,

On Mary’s lap is sleeping?

Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,

While shepherds watch are keeping?

This, this is Christ the King,

Whom shepherds guard and angels sing:

Haste, haste to bring Him laud,

The babe, the son of Mary.

(What Child is This)

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free

Thine own from Satan’s tyranny

From depths of Hell Thy people save

And give them victory o’er the grave

Disperse the gloomy clouds of night

And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel

Shall come to thee, O Israel.

(O Come O Come Emmanuel)

Come, thou long expected Jesus,

Born to set thy people free;

From our fears and sins release us,

Let us find our rest in thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation,

Hope of all the earth thou art;

Dear desire of every nation,

Joy of every longing heart.

Born thy people to deliver,

Born a child and yet a King,

Born to reign in us forever,

Now thy gracious kingdom bring.

By thine own eternal spirit

Rule in all our hearts alone;

By thine all sufficient merit,

Raise us to thy glorious throne

(Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus)