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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Lets Go Caroling

One Christmas tradition that has been passed down through the years is the act of going caroling. It is a way to spread the happiness of the season. All are blessed through the action of caroling, those that have fun and spend time together as well as those that are visited.

Note of Safety:
Be sure to check the weather before leaving home. Windy, rainy or snowy conditions will want to be noted. If the weather is not in cooperation perhaps the event should be rescheduled. Some other notes of safety to consider while caroling:

  • take along a flashlight
  • say on sidewalks as much as possible
  • stay together as a group
  • young children should have parents with them

Carols were first sung at winter solstice Carols were then wrote and sung at each season. The tradition of singing carols at Christmas time is the only tradition that has survived time. Christians would take over the caroling tradition at Christmas time The music was changed to Christian songs as well. One of the earliest Christian Christmas carols was "Angel's Hymn" However, because many Christian carols were written and sung in Latin they were not liked by all.

St. Francis  of Assisi changed the tradition when in 1223 he would introduce the world to his nativity plays. During the plays songs would be sung and the words were often in the language of those in the crowd. 

In 1647 when the Puritans and Oliver Cromwell ruled in England the celebration of Christmas and carols was stopped. The carols did survive as they were done in secret. It would not be until Victorian time before carols would be sang again. However it would take some time before caroling was popular again.

Official carol singers known as 'waits' composed of groups of individuals led by important leaders who held power in the towns would sing the carols In return for the carols money would be taken without being charged as beggars. 'Waits' only sang on Christmas Eve which was also referred to as 'watch' or 'wait' night. It was the night that the shepherds were watching over their flocks when angels appeared to tell them about the babe in the manger. 

During the victorian era large orchestras and choirs in England and other cities began to sing Christmas carols. The custom of singing carols in the streets would become popular again. New carols were created at this time as well. The tradition of carolers singing Christmas carols continues today.

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  1. I loved caroling with my church youth group when I was young. It's a wonderful tradition but I haven't seen carolers for decades.

    1. We too love to carol at church. It's never to late to go simply get a group together and go sing your favorite Christmas songs


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