What's your favourite carol? We Three Kings, Hark the Herald Angels Sing or even God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen? There are so many to choose from and here are the nation's 20 favourite carols for 2014. http://www.classicfm.com/discover/collections/christmas-music/nations-favourite-christmas-carols-2014/
If you'd like a seasonal accompaniment to your Christmas Lunch, then tune in to Classic fm at 1.00pm on Christmas Day to hear John Brunning playing this year's top 20:
Some of my favourites are
- Oh Holy Night (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5n6X9sUznI)
- Cowboy Carol (here's a version from my friend Richard : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gz9eszJfb6Y))
- Three Kings from Persian Lands Afar (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RspXfkKJTvs)
- While Shepherds Watched (alternative tune*: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FCifNeE1U38)
I went to school in Truro, to the Girls' High School, which was started by Bishop Benson in 1880. There's an interesting link between Truro High School and the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols ...
The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a service of Christian worship celebrating the birth of Jesus that is traditionally followed at Christmas. The story of the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah, and the birth of Jesus is told in nine short Bible readings from Genesis, the prophetic books and the Gospels, interspersed with the singing of Christmas carols, hymns and choir music.
The format was based on an Order drawn up by Edward Benson, later Archbishop of Canterbury but at that time Bishop of Truro, in Cornwall, for use on Christmas Eve (24 December) 1880. Tradition says that he organized a 10:00 p.m. service on Christmas Eve in a temporary wooden structure serving as his cathedral and that the purpose of the service was to keep men out of the pubs.
The original liturgy has since been adapted and used by other churches all over the world. Lessons and Carols most often occur inAnglican churches. However, numerous Christian denominations have adopted this service, or a variation on this service, as part of their Christmas celebrations. In the UK, the service has become the standard format for schools' Christmas carol services.
The best-known version is broadcast annually from King's College, Cambridge, on Christmas Eve. It features carols sung by the famous Choir of King's College. Groton School of Groton, Massachusetts, has performed the festival longer than any institution other than King's, holding its first Lessons and Carols in 1928.
Also see 50 most loved Christmas hymns and carols:
Index of hymns and carols: