Traditional “English” Christmas Carols

All the spiritual songs we post on the MCI web site include English language versions – but for Christmas there are a collection of primarily “English” Christmas hymns and carols which were added to the Christmas Eve service book at the request of cantors, as text only (no music), so the words would be available for parishes that want to use them:

  • Angels we have heard on high
  • Hark! the herald angels sing
  • It came upon the midnight clear
  • Joy to the world
  • O come, all ye faithful
  • O little town of Bethlehem
  • Silent night

They can be found here. on pages 13-15, and I plan to incorporate them into the proposed hymnal, as you can see here.


  1. I am not convinced ALL of them are needed, or if there are others that should be included.
  2. We should at least consider adding the Rusyn (and perhaps even the Hungarian) texts for Silent night and O come, all ye faithful, since these exist and are sung in some of our parishes.

Your thoughts?

This will wrap up our discussion of Christmas hymns for now, so if you have any suggestions, please make them below!

2 thoughts on “Traditional “English” Christmas Carols”

    1. This one I have some difficulties with, because:

      1. It is really a troped version of a THOROUGHLY Roman liturgical collection, the “Great Antiphons” of Advent. They should be sung in Roman Catholic churches, but not necessarily in ours.
      2. Historically, in our church, where it has been used, it was usually part of an entire import of Advent into a church (in one case, going so far as a manger with a baby doll representing Jesus, and an “O Come, O Come Emmanual” setting of the Cherubic Hymn).

      I may very well be 0verruled by the Music Commission, but this is one case where I would rather try to build up own own hymnody for the pre-Christmas Fast, rather than importing something SO closely associated with a Roman Advent celebration.

      Summary: I won’t tell you not to use it in a parish, but I don’t plan to include it in the forthcoming hymnal.

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