The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Carol Services

Source: Rev. Richard R. Chope, Carols For Use In Church (London: William Clowes & Sons, Complete Edition, 1894)

Carol-singing in the services of the Church has been extensively revived of late in all arts of Christendom. In mission-rooms, schools, hospitals, working men's clubs, and entertainments of a semi-religious character, carols are also being sun increasingly every year. In starting carols for the first time, it has been found helpful to sing a selection of carols in the parish church on Christmas Eve, or at the evening service on Christmas Day, or on the following Sunday night.

First Form of Service

"Our Father"     Two Collects.

I. The Birth

Phil. ii. 5-12

    Carol 22. Full.
    Good Christians All With Sweet Accord

St. Matt. i. 18 to end.

Carol 21 (omitting verses 6, 7, 8). Verse and full.
A Virgin Most Pure

S. Luke i. 26-34: and ii. 1-8.

    Carol 4. Full.
    Stars All Bright are Beaming

II. The Great Are Not His Witnesses.

1 Cor. i. 26-30; ii. 7-11; and S. Luke ii. 8-12

The Pastoral Symphony (Handel's Messiah).

    Carol 20. Full.
    While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

III. The Angels Worship.

S. Luke ii. 12-15.

    Carol 29. Solo and Full.
    The Flocks Were Wrapt In Slumber

Keble's Christmas Day, first four verses.

    Carol 41. Verse and Full.
    Hark What Mean Those Holy Voices

Heb. xii. 18-25; and 1 S. Pet. 1-12.

    Carol 30. Full.
    Bright Angel Hosts Are Heard On High


IV. The Shepherds Obediently Worship.

Psalm xcv. 6, 7; xcvi. 9; and xxvii. 8.

    Carol 35. Full.
    Shepherds, Rejoice, Lift Up Your Eyes - Version 3

S. Luke ii. 15-17.

    Carol 27. Verse and Full.
    Let Us Now Go To Bethlehem

V. They Spread Abroad The Tidings

S. Luke ii. 17 and 18.

    Carol 47. Full.
    Carol Sweetly Carol

VI. They Glorify And Praise God.

S. Luke ii. 20

    Carol 49. Full.
    Lo! Unto Us A Child Is Born

        The Blessing

Second Form

Processional Carol, No. 2
The Lord At First Had Adam Made

"Our Father."

Antiphon: "Unto us a Child is born, Alleluia;
Unto us a Son is given, Alleluia, Alleluia."

Carols 17 and 3.
Hark The Herald Angels Sing
Angels From The Realms of Glory

First Lesson, Gen. iii. 1-6, 13-15

Antiphon: "The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light, Alleluia:
They that dwell in the land of the shadow of death,
upon them hath the light shined. Alleluia, Alleluia."

Carol 16 or 12.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell (Glory To God In The Highest)
I Sing the Birth Was Born Tonight

Second Lesson, S. Matt i. 18 to end.

Antiphon: "The Word was made flesh, Alleluia:
And dwelt among us, Alleluia, Alleluia."

Carol 42, omitting the second verse.
As On The Night Before This Happy Morn
Creed to end of Third Collect.

Carol 47.
Carol Sweetly Carol

Address, followed by Carol 25.
Be Present, Ye Faithful


Processional Carol, No. 37.
High Let Us Swell Our Tuneful Notes - Version 1

If there is no Procession at close of Service,
sing 57 in place of 47.
Sing Ye The Songs of Praise

Third Form

Processional Carol, No. 14.
Blithely From The Moated Churchyard

"Our Father."

Carol 17.
Hark The Herald Angels Sing

First Lesson, Isaiah ix. 2, 6, 7.

Carol 15.
The Holly And The Ivy

Second Lesson, S. Luke ii. 1-14

Carol 36.
Last Night I Lay Me Down To Sleep

Creed, Versicles, and Collect.

Carol 10.
God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen


Carol 19.
Gently Falls The Winter Snow

Fourth Form

Processional Carol, No. 6.
The Babe in Bethlehem's Manger Laid

"Our Father"

Carol 31.
Hark! The Music Of The Cherubs

First Lesson, S. Luke ii. 15-20.

Carol 1, omitting verses 1 and 2.

Creed, Versicles, and Collect.

Carol 9.
Let Heaven And Earth Rejoice And Sing


Carol 18.
Hark, Hark! What News The Angels Bring


Fifth Form

Carol 7.
Now Lift The Carol, Men And Maids

Short Address, explanatory of Carols.

Carol 34.
It Came Upon The Midnight Clear

Prayers and Versicles -- Choral.

Carol 41, or 54, or 55, in place of Psalms.
Hark! What Mean Those Holy Voices
A Shout Of Mighty Triumph
Listen, Gentles, To The Story

First Lesson, Isaiah vii. 10-17.

Carol 49.
Lo! Unto Us A Child Is Born

Second Lesson, S. Luke ii. 8, ad lib.

Carol 52.
There Were Shepherds, Abiding In The Field

Creed to Third Collect.

Carol 64 or 65.
The Blasts of Chill December
Angel Hosts in Bright Array

Carol 69.
When The Crimson Sun Had Set

The Blessing.

Sixth Form

Processional Carol 20.
While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

"I believe" -- "Let us pray" -- "Our Father"


Carol 1.
Sing We Merry Christmas


Carol 19.
Gently Falls The Winter Snow

Lesson, S. Matthew i.18.

Carol 21
A Virgin Most Pure

Carol 4
Stars All Bright are Beaming

Lesson, S. Luke ii. 1-8.

Carol 13.
Christians, Carol Sweetly

Carol 57.
Sing Ye The Songs of Praise

Lesson, S. Luke ii. 8-18.

Carol 16.
Nowell, Nowell, Nowell, Nowell (Glory To God In The Highest)


Carol 60.
Come! Ye Lofty, Come! Ye Lowly


Processional Carol 29.
The Flocks Were Wrapt In Slumber

Many are the ways in which really good Carols can be used. We know of the Chaplain of a city hospital who is in the habit of taking his portable "harmoniflute" into the wards, so as to lighten up half-an-hour at times with Carols. The poor children, so fond of music, talk of it all the week after. It is a capital plan also to give three-minute addresses between each Carol, on some blessed thought in the words -- the tidings of the great joy forever.

Another carol service can be found in Carol Service, 1947. See also, Erik Routley, The English Carol (New York: Oxford University Press, 1958), pp. 227 et seq., and Appendix 1.

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