(Updated December 2011)
For this Christmas season, or if you’re thinking ahead to the next, here are some modern worship style Christmas songs. They’re great historic hymns that we’ve set to new music which carry Advent/Christmas themes. They aren’t “updated” standard Christmas carols. They’re old hymns that modern worship has all but forgotten. But they’re worth reviving, and here they are:
All Ye Gentile Lands Awake
A mid-tempo, indie-style song, with themes of light and confession. For liturgo-philes, it’s technically a song for Epiphany, but works very well for Christmas.
Angels From the Realms of Glory
An up-tempo, drum-heavy number that works well as an opening song. It’s refrain invites people to “Come and worship.”
Hark the Glad Sound
A driving 4/4 song that works great with dotted-eighth delayed electrics and powerful drums. Its chorus encourages us to shove the idols off the thrones of our hearts so that Jesus can come and reign.
Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending
A foreboding, mid-tempo, Coldplay-style Advent hymn that speaks about Christ coming in power, glory, and judgment. This song isn’t for sissies. It’s a fan-favorite from our first album, The Glad Sound.
O Splendor of God’s Glory Bright
A mid-tempo song that builds from soft to loud, filled with themes of light and God’s glory. One of the oldest Christian hymns we still have (4th century!).
Psalm 76 (God is Known Among His People)
An upbeat, funky, even gospel-style number that rejoices in the power of God, trampling over His enemies. The bridge walks through Isaiah’s titles for Christ (“Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”).
The Word of Life (In a Byre Near Bethlehem)
An Irish pub-style number that walks through the story of Christ’s life, from birth to resurrection. It’s got an earthy chorus and a singable melody that everyone loves. Everyone.
There is Room
A slow, graceful piano-led ballad that, in recounting the story of Jesus coming to earth, asks Jesus to come to our hearts. Very melodic, and perfect for an offering.