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The Christmas Carol:

History of the Sacred Carol: From Ring Dance to Christmas Carol

James Sundquist, guitarist, composer, and hymnologist has written a wonderful documentary on the history and meaning of the Christmas carol. This documentary was first aired on National Public Radio, and we are proud to make the production available here as narrated by Robert Montiegel.

From the Radio Program:

The Ring Dance

The Carol

God Rest You Merry Gentlemen

Silent Night, Part 1

Silent Night, Part 2


And she gave birth to her firstborn son,
and wrapped him in swaddling clothes,
and laid him in a manger,
because there was no room for them in the inn.
And there were in the same country shepherds out in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
And an angel of the Lord came upon them,
and the glory of the Lord shone around about them,
and they were filled with fear.
And the angel said to them,
"Fear not! For, behold,
I bring you good news of great joy,
which will come to all people.
For to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior,
who is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign for you:
You will find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger."
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude
of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
"Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among all people."

For our review of the top Christmas albums

More about Christmas

Merry Christmas!

Guitar Music from the radio program is available on CD from Amazon. 

Charles Henderson

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and author of Faith, Science and the Future, published in 1994 by CrossCurrents Press. He is also the author of God and Science (John Knox / Westminster, 1986) which he is now rewriting to incorporate more recent developments in the conversation taking place between scientists and theologians. He has also written widely for such publications as The New York Times, The Nation, Commonweal, The Christian Century and others.

For further information about Charles Henderson.