PCANZ has released a song to commemorate the arrival of the gospel in Aotearoa and the life of God’s church here. In my opinion it is a very fine piece of work, professionally and movingly filmed and performed. A great addition to your bicentennial celebrations!
This Jane Williams reflections page has been updated today. If you want to make use of the suggested congregational action/reflection you will need to do some preparation in advance as the entry makes clear (but not too much!)
The goal of this reflection is to remind us all that Christmas is a broader focus than the Christ-child: that the incarnation invites us all into the life of God as daughters and sons, if only we open ourselves to the Gift of God.
A list of hymns, carols and songs for the first Sunday of Christmas is published today. A number of these have links to words and music to help you broaden the range beyond merely recycling carols from Christmas Day. There are a handful of different suggestions from “Carol our Christmas”, too.
If you haven’t time to learn something new, the “Carol our Christmas” CD has some very attractive performances which could serve as meditation material during your service.
There are also quite a few traditional tunes with words appropriate for the day.
“Who would think, despite derision,
That a child should lead the way?
God surprises earth with heaven,
Coming here on Christmas Day.”
What’s nice about this one is that, like “What child is this?” it is sung to a traditional English tune, in this case SCARLET RIBBONS (Link downloads a pdf of melody and guitar chords). I liked it so much I decided to record a sing-along track (as professionally as I could manage, decide for yourself):
It’s for those of you who are pushed for musicians at this busy time of the year. You can download a high-quality mp3 from my Soundcloud page. By the way, you can also use this arrangement to sing “What a friend we have in Jesus” at any time of the year as it’s 3 verses in 8787D!
“Glad music fills the Christmas sky”, a carol by Michael Perry appears in the much used hymnal “Hymns for Today’s Church” (#82) but is unfortunately little used. The words can also be found online .
The folk tune “O Waly Waly” suits these words well, and I’ve created an upbeat and full-sounding accompaniment track (which includes the melody). It’s uploaded as a very high-quality mp3 which you can play from a device or burn to CD. If you use it, please do submit a comment.