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Content about Christmas -- Songs and music

September 1, 2009

This children’s Christmas program, which incorporates questions and answers from the Heidelberg Catechism, follows the well-known structure of “sin, salvation, and service.” It is a celebration of God’s love for us and our response in faith.

March 1, 2007

Our church follows the seasons of the Christian year and the lectionary Scripture passages, changing banners and colors accordingly. When we planned a service called “Singing Through the Christian Year,” it provided us with the opportunity to “walk through” the Christian year in one evening and to reprise many of the choir anthems we had learned and used in services over the past year.

September 5, 2005

Roger Bergs offers fresh treatments of three traditional hymns, one each for Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany. On these pages, Bergs, a published composer, not only provides arrangements for piano and/or organ or choir, but also offers them without charge to Reformed Worship and to our readers—a generous gift! We did not have room to include all the music, and some of what we did provide is too small for easy reading. To print your own copy of this music (PDF), please click here.

September 4, 2004

Sometimes God uses things like this to strengthen the whole church,” Ruth said to me, shortly after my father died.

September 1, 2001

The commentary combines song notes found in the Leader’s Edition of Sing! A New Creation and additional comments by Emily R. Brink, editor of Reformed Worship. The song notes were written by a team of writers and edited by Ron Rienstra, associate editor of Reformed Worship.

God of Justice, Ever Flowing

Click to listen [ full version ]

September 1, 2000
It Came upon the Midnight Clear

In the previous article, Ron Rienstra tells how this Christmas carol was “retooled” for an Advent service led by students. Since the more familiar form of this song is available in many hymnals, we are providing the arrangements for piano (below) and guitar (p. 29), which may be played together, as prepared for that student service.

September 1, 1999

All but one of the songs in this issue were included as part of service plans outlined in this issue of Reformed Worship. “My Soul in Stillness Waits” was sung as the opening hymn of every service during the Advent series from Hope Christian Reformed Church, Thunder Bay, Ontario (see p. 3). “O Gladsome Light” was recommended for the New Year’s Eve service plans (see p. 34). “Miren qué bueno¡” was sung at the joint English/Spanish service at West End Presbyterian Church in New York City (see p. 24).

September 1, 1999

The joy of the Christmas season is an unending fountain of creativity for musicians. I reviewed over fifty new organ collections for the Christmas/Advent/Epiphany season from several publishing houses. The spirit of the season is alive and well in the writing of new organ music. The following collections are those I found most rewarding for worship and inspiring for congregational singing. Each is marked E (Easy), M (Moderate), or D (Difficult).


September 1, 1997

Again in this issue at Reformed Worship, we offer a glimpse at the forthcoming Psalter Hymnal Handbook, a large project that is nearing completion at long last. You will be hearing much more about it in the next issues of RW!

September 1, 1997

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas, all around the world." At some point during the upcoming holiday season we will almost certainly hear those familiar lyrics on the radio, on a TV special, or at the mall.

September 1, 1995

It's fall. You are already noticing the Christmas catalogues showing up in your mailbox. Though school has barely begun, your calendar tells you it is time to plan for Advent and Christmas. And the very thought of it makes you tremble just a little.

September 1, 1993

Give or take a year, 1884 was the year Clarence Wexler founded the town that bears his name. He drifted west from Paterson, New Jersey, prospecting not for gold but for coal. Coal mines were as good as gold when they were close enough to the Boston/New York/Trenton furnaces to connect by rail, and far enough west to ensure cheap labor. So it was that Clarence Wexler settled in mid-Appalachia to begin his dig.

September 1, 1992
Metrical Psalms

A New Metrical Psalter, Christopher Webber, Church Hymnal Corporation
Psalter Hymnal, CRC Publications, 1987
Rejoice in the Lord, Eerdmans, 1985
Trinity Hymnal, Great Commission Publications, 1990

September 1, 1992

Singing Scripture has always been a cherished part of Reformed worship. In fact, most of the early Reformed Christians limited their singing to scriptural texts, concentrating on the psalms. John Calvin himself said, "Singing [the psalms] we may be sure that our words come from God just as if he were to sing in us for his own exaltation."

September 1, 1991

Anticipating an event is as exciting (well, almost as exciting) as the event itself. "Getting ready for a party—choosing my dress, having my hair done, and guessing who the other guests will be—is as much fun as the party itself," said a young woman parishioner of mine. Many would say the same about planning a trip or a cruise. Please consider this article a commercial for rediscovering Advent as a season of anticipation—and waiting.

September 1, 1991


Recognize These Christmas Songs?

September 1, 1990

Jean Berger, "The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee," Augsburg 11-1264. Moderately difficult SATB (some unusual melodic intervals in each voice part); well worth the effort.

Paul Bunjes, arr,, "Comfort, Comfort Ye My People" (GENEVAN 42), Concordia 98-1388. Bunjes' setting of the Genevan chorale, simply harmonized, with an active accompaniment for strings, organ, or combination. (Works well with two violins and organ if a quartet is unavailable.) Easy SATB.

September 1, 1990
A candlelight service that demonstrates Light overcoming darkness

(Please pick up a candle as you enter for worship)

A Dark World

Organ Prelude and Personal Meditation

Welcome and Announcements

Our Prayer for God's Presence: "O Lord, Come Quickly"
(PsH 141)

God's Greeting

Our Response: "O Come, All Ye Faithful" (refrain only)
(HB 170, PsH 340, RL 195, TH 151)

September 1, 1990
Hearing the Christmas story from the saints of all ages


Organ Prelude and Personal Meditation

Welcome and Announcements

Call to Worship: (from Isaiah and John)

Arise! Shine! for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord rises upon you!
(Isaiah 60:1)

September 1, 1989

Listed on this page are collections of keyboard music, some of which contain music for use in worship services during Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany, others which are devoted exclusively to these seasons. Since there is a dearth of good literature written explicitly for piano in worship services, this list includes collections that are intended for organ, manuals only, but that are suitable for the piano as well.

September 1, 1988

The following music is appropriate for use in the worship service during the Advent, Christmas, or Epiphany season. The list includes music used with the children in our church school music program over the past several years. Those titles with a star (*) were used in the 1987 candlelight service. All music is sung in unison with piano accompaniment. Optional two parts, descants, or instruments are indicated below.

September 1, 1986

"It's Tuesday and I still don't know what hymns we're going to sing on Sunday! I don't even have the text or sermon topic. How am I supposed to choose organ music that will integrate with the service"?"

Just then the phone rings. It's the pastor, and he's chosen his text. He's selected some hymns too, although he's still not sure which stanzas to sing.

"Oh well, at least I can choose the prelude, postlude, and offertory. I'll work on the hymns later—after he decides about the stanzas."