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  • Writer's pictureElizabeth Ann

E's Essential Christmas Hymns

Growing up in the church weaved christmas hymns into the DNA of my holiday rituals. As I've taken space from my childhood church to process religious trauma, I miss singing Christmas hymns during Sunday service. Certainly, music as worship feels most authentic to me.

As we approach the sacred remembering in just a few days, curating my own list of hymns felt festive, so here we have it:

First on our list is Oh Come, All Ye Faithful. I have a soft spot for the LDS version of this hymn with Calee Reed singing it as close as I could find:

Angels We Have Heard on High is just fun to sing. Please, when listening to this rendition by Sarah McLachlan, sing along with her, as loud as you can manage, no shame:

Pentatonix' Christmas album has been on repeat in my home for several holiday seasons. Acapella groups are awe-inspiring; to belong to a collective while contributing uniqueness is how I strive to live life, and is the heart of guidance I give those around me. May we all dig a bit deeper into interdependence while listening to this gorgeous version of Away In A Manger:

How Canadian would I really be if I shared a list of music I love, and Anne Murray didn't sing any of the songs? My dad had a few Anne Murray albums, so even though my roots are murky, I'm honoring them. As someone who is in a process of reclaiming her voice, I appreciate Anne's vocal sturdiness while she sings It Came Upon A Midnight Clear:

The First Noel is a favorite of mine to sing in church. Not much made young me so excited as seeing the page number for this hymn on the chapel board. Really sing from your soul with Lady A for that sweet Noel at the end of the last chorus:

I Heard The Bells on Christmas Day is easily my favorite christmas hymn. Beginning when I was just a young girl, multiple multifacted experiences with trauma created a fierce lifelong yearning for peace, both on earth & within me. This hymn is hopeful, and reminds me how Jesus heals. My favorite versions of this song stay close to the hymn I grew up with, something Echosmith executes well:

Choir kid me sang What Child is This with reverence & yearning for more Mary. I love the melody of this hymn which is radiant when played by Lindsey Stirling:

While in that same choir, a girlfriend was given the opportunity to sing O Holy Night as a choir supported solo, of which an entire spectacle was made, making young me feel like this song survives solely by songbirds such as Lea Michelle:

I've only known about O Come, O Come Emmanuel for a couple years, and was delighted to sing it in church with my son last week. I appreciate how lonely JJ Heller's version feels, like JJ is a human that knows intimately to rely on Jesus to be pulled from depths of sorrow:

I am and will likely always be starry eyed for any music made by Alexander Jean. Their version of We Three Kings is the first tune on my personal christmas playlist on spotify, because it is dreamy and satisfies my inherent need to listen to as much moody music as possible:

The Universe led me to this song in a season of sorrow. Oh Come, All You Unfaithful is a balm that I am grateful to Sovereign Grace Music for gifting to the world:

I didn't grow up considering Little Drummer Boy as a hymn, and I still don't know if it technically is considered one, but I love for KING & COUNTRY's rendition all the same:

Silent Night by Sinead O' Connor? Yes, please:

Last one on the list is another jam from Lindsey Stirling. God Rest Ye Merry Gentemen isn't necessarily a hymn but definitely essential to my holiday wellness. Have I ever told you about my violin playing phase?

I made you a spotify playlist if you want to listen to my essential hymns throughout the rest of the holidays. Whatever you are listening to, I pray you have a blessed season.

May you feel loved & be safe,

make peace with whatever this year has brought you,

and have something to look forward to in the next year.

I love you.

Singing my way through everything,


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