Fresh Christmas Songs For Sunday Services
Although I love Christmas music and have listened to countless Christmas albums, secular and sacred, from decades past and present, finding songs that our team and I can effectively lead for our Sunday gatherings can be tough.
There are SO many great songs and just as many awful ones. Here’s what I’m looking for in a good Christmas song for a Sunday service.
1) Doctrinally Substantial
There are some Christmas songs that are mostly narrative with little Christ exalting explanation of His incarnation. While these are great songs, they’re more suited for easy listening than congregational worship.
Look for songs that celebrate Jesus’ birth as a part of the Gospel story. Songs that describe how He came to ultimately redeem mankind. Songs that respond in adoration.
2) Musically Fresh
There are some songs we can just plan on doing year after year. And that’s great! Look for musical arrangements and that can bring fresh life to these timeless classics.
3) New and Unique
There are incredible original Christmas songs being written every year. These won’t get the airplay of Joy To The World but leading some of these songs can be a way to look at our Lord’s birth in a new light.
Here are some ideas to get you started.
Realms of Glory - A Jesus Church & Evan Wickham
This modern rendition of Angles From the Realms of Glory (first published in 1816) is packed with creativity and energy. Evan Wickham is one of my favorite songwriters and worship leaders and this song deserves a listen from start to finish because of it’s evolution and production. It also has a powerful added chorus that’s good any time of year.
Lord Remind Me - Jon & Valerie Guerra
Jon Guerra is a worship leader with Vertical Church Band as well as a solo artist. You an always count on him to not fall back on cliches or obvious rhymes (simple and hymnal?!?). The sparse arrangement of this song adds to its power. It starts with confession and ends with praise.
The Earth Stood Still - Future of Forestry
Future of Forestry, lead by multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Eric Owyoung is an absolute inspiration. They have quite a few Christmas EPs and singles to choose from but this may be my favorite. It tells the story of Christ’s birth and such an honest and realistic way.
Do You Hear? - North Point Christmas
If you’re looking for an upbeat Christmas opener other than "Angels We Have Heard On High" or "Joy To The World" give this one a try. This rendition of “Do You Hear What I Hear” is a few years old now but it still holds up. And I still can’t get enough of that verse groove.
O Holy Night - Shane & Shane
I’ve been leading this version of O Holy Night for about 7 years and I still haven’t had enough. this is a good example of a rendition of a classic song that doesn't add any modern choruses or modified melodies but still feels totally fresh.
When Love Crossed Over - Rita Baloche feat. Madison Cunningham
Madison Cunningham is one of my favorite young artists. She’s a gifted songwriter and worship leader who has already collaborated with artists like Phil Wickham and Paul Baloche. This simple and sparse song has a beautiful melody and hymn like quality.
What Child Is This? (First Noel Prelude) - Francesca Battistelli
If you’re looking for a classic sounding Christmas song give this one a try. It’s a unique medley of two songs while still being faithful to both.
I'd love to hear some of your favorite Christmas songs to lead for your Church. Leave a comment below!