Carol Service 1947

Martin Shaw and Percy Dearmer, The English Carol Book (London: A. R. Mowbray & Co., Ltd., 
First Edition, 1913; Second Edition, 1919; Complete Edition, 1938)

In early September, I posted the following note to the Christmas International Group at Yahoo.com:

Dear Friends;

For those who might be planning a Carol Service in the upcoming season, I offer the following.

This evening, I received a copy of "The English Carol Book: Complete Edition" by Percy Dearmer and Martin Shaw (1938). On the back cover was the following hand-written note. No mention was made of which hymnal was being used. Material in square brackets [like these] was added by me. I obtained this copy from a bookstore in Rockport, Massachusetts, USA.

The next day, a member of the group, Alan E. Mack, posted the following message:

In all probability it was the British hymnal Hymns Ancient and Modern, Standard Edition, 1924. If this were so, the hymns would be #59: "O come all ye faithful;" #62: "While shepherds watched their flocks by night;" #79: "As with gladness men of old;" #329 "Once in royal David's city;" and #622: "Virgin-born we bow before thee." Assuming a British and Anglican provenance for the service because the book of carols on the back of which was inscribed the order of service was edited by Percy Dearmer, a well-known Anglican priest and hymnographer, and because British Anglicans are famous for this kind of service, I searched through online indices of 25 British, Canadian, and American Anglican hymnals from the mid-nineteenth through 1940 and this was the only one in which all of the hymn numbers referred to hymns that made sense in this setting. (In many of the others some hymn numbers, for instance, referred to Lenten or Holy Week hymns.) For those of you who are interested, the source is the Oremus Hymnal, http://www.oremus.org/hymnal/index.html . Click on the drop-down box labeled Numerical Indexes to the Hymnals, and highlight one and then click on "go." You will get a numeric index.

Although I didn't have a copy of the 1924 Standard Edition of Hymns Ancient and Modern, I did have a 1906 reprint of the "Old Edition of 1889." Alan was right on target; the hymns in that edition matched (by the hymn number and name) with the information he provided.  I have edited the the text of the carol service originally posted to the Christmas International Group to include Alan's suggestions. 

My thanks to Alan for his hard work and sharp eyes!


Carol Service, 1947

Carol 9, The First Nowell

Genesis III: 11-15

Carol 53, What Child Is This? - Version 1

Hymn 62, While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Genesis 22: 15-18

Carol 7, Christ Is Born!

Isaiah 9: 2, 6, 7

Carol 13, Good King Wenceslas

Isaiah 59: 20-60.3

Carol 21, Tschaikowsky's Legend: The Crown of Roses (When Jesus Christ Was Yet A Child)

Malachi 3: 1-4

Hymn 622 (tune 2), Virgin-Born! We Bow Before Thee

Luke 1: 26-33, 38

Hymn 329, Once In Royal David's City

Matthew 1: 18-23

Carol 51, This Endris Night

Matthew II, 1-12

Carol 19, In Dulci Jubilo - Woodward

Hymn 79, As With Gladness, Men of Old

John 1:1-14

Hymn 59, O Come, All Ye Faithful - Version 1

Concluding Prayer

Note: the versions of carols and hymns above linked to are not necessarily identical with the versions found in either The English Carol or Hymns Ancient and Modern. The Adobe PDF versions below, however, are the same as these two sources.

Adobe PDF Versions

Low ResolutionHigh Resolution
Black and White (5 MB) Black and White (12.3 MB)
Color (5.5 MB) Color (13 MB)

Color Versions have scanned early 1900s Christmas post cards like this:


See also, Carol Services (Chope) and Erik Routley, The English Carol (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 227 et seq., and Appendix 1.