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Five Favorite Christmas Carol Texts

Christmas is just around the corner, and if you are like our family, Christmas music has been playing for quite a while. It is difficult to rank favorite Christmas Carol/Hymn texts. However, today begins my countdown of five of mine.

Number 5: "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"

Written by American author Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882), following a string of personal tragedies and in the context of the American Civil War, it is something that fills us with hope and points us to the peace that is found in Jesus Christ, though his name is not mentioned in the text. When it seems to us that hatred and evil are too strong, we must remember that there is a day coming when Christ the King will rule the world and there will be peace on earth.

I heard the bells on Christmas Day

Their old, familiar carols play,

and mild and sweet

The words repeat

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,

The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along

The unbroken song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,

The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,

A chant sublime

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth

The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound

The carols drowned

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent

The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn

The households born

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;

"There is no peace on earth," I said;

"For hate is strong,

And mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good-will to men!"

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

"God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,

The Right prevail,

With peace on earth, good-will to men."


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