~ Putting the reason back in the Christmas season with the top 37 spiritual Christmas songs ~
We don’t know exactly when Jesus was born, but the decision was made to celebrate His birth on December 25. Christmas was celebrated in Rome around 336, but it did not become a major Christian holiday until the 9th century. Since the 20th century, there has been a deliberate move to remove the faith element from the holiday and to make it more and more about shopping, decorating and entertaining and less and less about Christ. Even our Christmas music has been affected.
Spiritual Christmas Carols Gave Way to Secular Holiday Songs
Through the years some beautiful spiritual Christmas carols have been written in honor of the baby born in a manger. However, as time passed, new songs were penned about snow, reindeer, sleigh rides, snowmen, hippos and a plethora of topics other than the birth of Jesus. As Andrew Torba pointed out in a recent podcast, Christmas music made a turn from sacred to secular.
There is nothing wrong with songs about snowmen and reindeer…unless you happen to believe it is important to have a holiday set aside that encourages mankind to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.
With that in mind, here is a list of 36 of the best and most meaningful spiritual Christmas carols.
Top 37 Spiritual Christmas Carols
- O Holy Night
- Angel’s We Have Heard on High
- Silent Night
- Do You Hear What I Hear?
- O Come All Ye Faithful
- Emmanuel (Amy Grant & Michael W. Smith)
- Joy to the World
- What Child Is This?
- The First Noel
- It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
- I Wonder as I Wander
- Away in a Manger
- O Little Town of Bethlehem
- Hark the Herald
- Carol of the Bells
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
- God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
- Breath of Heaven
- Go Tell It on the Mountain
- In the Bleak Midwinter
- I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
- Noel (Chris Tomlin)
- We Three Kings
- Good Christian Men, Rejoice
- Mary Did You Know?
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
- Welcome to Our World (Chris Rice)
- Emmanuel, God With Us
- Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
- Sing We Now of Christmas
- The Hope of Christmas
- The Holly and the Ivy
- Little Drummer Boy
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus
- The Snow Lay on the Ground
- Mary’s Boy Child (1956)
- The Hallelujah Chorus
As you plan your holiday season this year, consider focusing on the sacred songs of Christmas. After all, if you observe Christmas at all, Jesus is the reason for the season, so the most meaningful Christmas songs make the best Christmas music.
It would be great to see more Christian artists writing Christmas carols that tell the good news of Christ’s birth. Let’s make the move from the secular back to the sacred.
If you have a favorite spiritual Christmas song I didn’t list, please mention it in the comments below.
Originally published 11/25/2023.
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