The Fascinating History of Christmas Carols

Do you know that the word “carol” means a song of praise and joy? Discover some of the engrossing stories and realities that surround the history of Christmas carols and relive them.

Carols commemorate the nativity or birth of Jesus Christ. Earlier, caroling was an oral tradition, which was passed down from generation to generation. Later, carols were written and sung during all four seasons. The oldest Christmas carol is the “Angels Hymn,” written in 129 AD. In 336 AD, the Bishop of Rome, Telesphorus, proclaimed that this song should be sung during the Holy Night of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior. In 760 AD, Comas of Jerusalem wrote another early Christmas carol for the Greek Orthodox Church.

Carols that were written in Latin in the 4th and 5th centuries were sung only by church officials. It was Saint Francis of Assisi who popularized Christmas carol songs by incorporating the uplifting hymns in nativity plays in the 13th century. The hymns were entirely religious, but instead of singing in Latin, St. Francis encouraged people to sing the songs in their native languages. The energetic and joyful carols now found a place in the Christian community in Europe, in celebrating the birth of Christ. One of the oldest printed carols is the ‘Boar’s Head Carol’, which was published in 1521.

When the Puritans came to power in England in the 1640s, Oliver Cromwell, the Lord Protector of the Commonwealth, banned the celebration of Christmas from 1649 to 1660 and the singing of carols was stopped. However, people continued to sing carols in secret. Carols witnessed a surge in popularity in Victorian times in the 19th century.

The first Christmas carol service was conducted by the Bishop of Truro, Edward White Benson, in 1880. Carolers were known as “waits” and assembled in public spaces during the 19th century, and these singers performed for passers-by, who gave them drinks or mince pies. It became known as wassailing.

The first carol service that was broadcast over the radio was the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge’s Christmas Eve carol service in 1928. This was supposedly the first festival of “Nine Lessons and Carols,” in which carols, hymns, and Bible readings told the story of Christmas. The Oxford Book of Carols was also published in the same year.

1 Sing to the Lord, all the earth. Sing to the Lord, bless His name;
Proclaim the good news of His salvation from day to day. Psalm 96: 1-2

History of Christmas Carols — What Makes the Songs Special?

History of Christmas Carols, Christmas Carol Songs

Some of the most well-known Christmas carol songs include Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, Silent Night, O Little Town of Bethlehem, O Come, All Ye Faithful, and Joy to the World.

The history of Christmas carols shows that what makes these carols special are the stirring melodies and the nostalgic lyrics that are inspiring and centered around the miraculous story of the birth of Jesus Christ and His message of humility, hope, and abundant joy. The history of Christmas carols indicates that many people stick to singing carols in the lead-up to Christmas and not all year around.

We hope you learned a few interesting things about the history of Christmas Carols. Make sure you sing these amazing Christmas carol songs this Christmas because the joy of this season will not be not complete without singing and listening to the angelic sound of carols.

Get inspired this holiday season with our fantastic collection of Christmas articles, which includes remarkable facts, fascinating histories, joyful melodies, spectacular activities, inspiring Bible verses, riveting stories, passionate prayers, and much more.

Add Comment

Show Buttons
Hide Buttons
Bible Reading Plans Bible Summaries Bible Verses by Topic Hymns Jesus on Earth Lent Season Praise Offerings Prayers Thought Pickers
do you know who am i, the bell, i know who i am
Saved by The Bell: I Know Who I Am – 30 Amazing Truths
preaching the gospel, share the gospel, preach my gospel, spreading the gospel, preach the
Preaching the Gospel in 1 Minute | A Simple but Powerful Message
bible verses about pregnancy, bible verses for pregnant women, pregnancy scriptures
45 Inspirational and Best Bible Verses About Pregnancy and Childbirth
5 Minute Sermons Bible Facts Bible Heroes Bible in Pictures Classic Sermons Heroes of the Faith Historical Events Moral Stories Parables
the fox and the stork moral, fox and the crane, fox and the stork, fox and the crane story, fox and the stork story
The Fox and the Crane Story | 1 Enlightening and Famous Moral Story
easter sermon, easter message, easter sunday message
1 Dramatic and Blessed Easter Sermon | Rejoice for the Lord is Risen
death of christ, death of jesus, death of jesus christ, spurgeon sermons
The Death of Christ | 1 Dramatic Sermon by Charles Spurgeon
Ask Bibilium Christian Poems Christmas Season Contemporary Songs eBooks Festivals New Year Personal Development Quizzes Quotes Soft Skills Courses Women in Christ
Proverbs 31 woman, proverbs woman, proverbs 31, woman's day quiz
Ultimate Proverbs 31 Woman Quiz | The Characteristics Of A Virtuous Woman
quotes about forgiveness, inspirational quotes about forgiveness
41 Hopeful Christian Quotes About Forgiveness
classroom quotes, classroom quotes for students, classroom motivational quotes for students, education classroom quotes for students, classroom educational quotes
51 Famous Classroom Quotes from the Book of Proverbs to Inspire Students
Animated Bible Stories Factopedia Sunday School
christmas quiz, christmas quiz questions, christmas quiz questions and answers
The Spectacular Christmas Quiz | 12 Answers You Need to Know
in the arms of jesus, arms of jesus, jesus ark, safe in the arms of jesus
Safe in the Arms of Jesus | 1 Story of Redemption | Noah’s Ark
pitohui, hooded pitohui, poisonous birds
Hooded Pitohui | The Most Poisonous Bird in the World—10 Fascinating Facts
Don`t copy text!