Devotional Thoughts Based on the Glory to God Hymnal
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who lived in a land of deep darkness – on them light has shined.
Another title for this composition is The Sussex Carol. Did you know that a carol was originally a ring dance? With the lively tune of On Christmas Night, All Christians Sing, it Is easy to imagine a group of folks dancing to this carol.
The first time I ever experienced a carol as a ring dance was at an Annual Recreation Workshop at Montreat Conference Center. We dance to Joy to the World and it was a marvelous way to experience the carol anew. Granted we cannot do this in the context of worship in the sanctuary, but groups of us could do it in McLeod Hall as part of our celebration of Christmas. Keep that idea in the back of your mind for Christmas 2020.
We readily see the allusion to Isaiah 9:2, in the fourth verse of On Christmas Night, All Christians Sing. Read/sing:
All out of darkness we have light, which made the angels sings this night;
All out of darkness we have light, which made the angels sing this night:
Glory to God in highest heaven; Peace on earth and good will. Amen!
Now to this ring dance, add singing and candlelight and we have a truly new way to carol and celebrate Christ’s birth. For this devotion, I did a little research about caroling and its origins as well as that of this particular carol. Up popped Carols at King’s College in Cambridge and I listened as the men and boys’ choir offered a beautiful rendition of the Sussex Carol. If you did not get enough of carols for Christmas 2019, you can tune in and listen now.
Blessed Lord, we thank you for carols and for ways to experience them anew. Because of the good news the angels brought so long ago, On Christmas Night, All Christians (have great reason to) Sing. On Christmas Night (and all other nights for that matter) All Christians (should) Sing. Glory to You, O God, now and forever! Amen.