Borrowing Brains: Choral Christmas Music

I’m looking for Christmas music for our choir. In particular, I want:

1. A couple of joyous anthems.

2. A couple meditative songs that highlight the humility of the incarnation (along the lines of 2 Corinthians 8:9). Something more suited to a soloist, duet, etc. would be fine, too.

3. A simple song especially appropriate for a children’s choir.

I’m looking for pieces that are doctrinally rich and musically moving. Suggestions? Links to SATB arrangements would be appreciated. (Preferably not choral books.) Links to samples would be even better. Thanks!


18 Responses

  1. I really appreciate “Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor,” by Frank Houghton of the former China Inland Mission. ( Don’t be put off by the MIDI sample in the attached web page, by the way, as it is IMO poorly done and much too fast.) This would make a wonderful solo. I have a version in 4-part harmony if you would like a copy; however, the harmonization would likely be difficult for non-musicians. You can find it here.

  2. Lyn,

    Our teens are singing that. It’s perfect for the theme!


    Any comment that has links has to be approved before it posts. I’ll get to them as soon as I can. FYI.

  3. An idea for your children might be the carol, “O Come, Little Children (O, Come, One and All).” It would be beautiful for the children to sing in unison, and is easily adaptable to very nice two-part harmony if you wish. ( Let me know if you need a paper copy.)

  4. Um…I need a paper copy. :-)

    Seriously, if you have something you could scan and email, that’d be great. If not, I’m sure I can find it somewhere here. Thank you!

  5. Chris,
    It has been a while (7 or 8 years) since I heard it and I do not know the words very well, but I remember being struck by “Where Shepherds Lately Knelt” by Craig Courtney. It may not be what you want but I thought I’d mention it.

  6. Here’s an mp3 sample of Where Shepherds Lately Knelt.

  7. I’ll try to get a copy to you over the weekend!

  8. Chris,

    How about In the Garden?!

    OK, just kidding!

  9. 1. A couple of joyous anthems.
    Glory to God in the Highest – Pote – Hope
    Angels’ Carol – Rutter – Hinshaw
    On Christmas Night, All Christians Sing – Helvey – Beckenhorst

    2. A couple meditative songs
    That We Might Live – Achterberg – SoundForth
    Silent Night – Pinkston – Beckenhorst
    Christmas Pastorale – Pinkston – Beckenhorst

    3. A simple song especially appropriate for a children’s choir.
    Wesley’s Carol – Mincy – Mincymedia (you’d have to contact him directly to get this as it is no longer on his website for some reason)

    The “joyous” anthems are on the more difficult side, as are the Pinkston arrangements. The Mincy song incorporates children’s choir.

  10. It never hurts to ask, so why don’t you ask your “good friend, Greg Habegger” to write something for you. :) :) :)

  11. “Good friend,” indeed. Greg informed me yesterday that he’s writing a tune for someone else’s text.

    I’m so hurt and shocked that I don’t even know how to respond. Tell my good friend he’s a dirty, double-crossing two-timer.

    And then ask him to write something, or at least point me to some of his favorite Christmas choral pieces. ;)

  12. […] for Your Children’s Choir October 9th, 2007 — Chris In response to my recent request for Christmas music suggestions, Lyn Marshal has provided an original arrangement of O Come, Little […]

  13. Um, Im sorry, but I am a senior in high school in lake charles, louisiana, and my choir is performing Where Shepherds Lately Knelt for this year’s xmas concert!!! This is a “””GREAT””” SONG!!!! I absolutely love it!!! It would be awesome for you to perform this song! Its not that hard to learn either! sorry for being in you all’s”bussiness” LOL But i was online looking for a video of the song, and this popped up!! LOL My email is

  14. Kris,

    Mincy’s “Wesley’s Carol” is outstanding. We’re singing it with combined children’s & adult choirs. Beautiful. Really well done!

    Thanks for the tip!

  15. Sleep, Jesus, Sleep by Sovereign Grace is a great song for your #2 request. Powerful imagery.
    God Bless!

  16. Chris,

    I’m glad that you were able to track it down. We are singing it the last Sunday of December. Hope it goes well for you.

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