Hymns for the Nativity of the Lord - Christmas Eve (24 December) Proper I - Revised Common Lectionary

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Hymn and song suggestions, based on themes from the Revised Common lectionary for Christmas Eve, using Proper I.

Most are free-to-use (ie public domain or copyright-free) hymns and song means the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing. Many such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.

Most communities have a familiar repertoire of public domain Christmas music, so at this time choosing free-to-use hymns is simple. The list below doesn't include all well known Christmas carols, just the ones that are a particularly good fit with the lectionary readings for this day.

Suggestions about other hymns that could be included are welcome:  leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page.


First: Isaiah 9:2-7- The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light ... wonder councilor, mighty God, eternal father, prince of peace.

Psalm: Psalm 95  - Today a saviour has been born to us, he is Christ the Lord

Second: Titus 2:11-14 - God's grace has been revealed and made salvation possible.

Gospel: Luke 2:1-14  - Caesar called a census, so Joseph and Mary travelled to Nazareth.  Mary gave birth in a manger because there was no room at the inn.  Angels appeared to the shepherd, and told of the sign that they would find.


Christ is born - the great light - humility - God's power - Jesus our saviour

Free-use hymns

A Great and Mighty Wonder - Neale

Angels we Have Heard on High

As Joseph was a-Walking - Dunstan

Away in a Manger

Ding dong! merrily on high

From Heaven Above to Earth I Come - Winkworth, from Luther

God rest you Merry Gentlemen - 18th century, unknown

Good Christian Friends, Rejoice

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

In the Bleak Mid-Winter - Rossetti

Jesus, Good above all Other - Dearmer

Joy to the World  - Watts

Let All Together Praise Our God - Crull, from Herman

O Come, All Ye Faithful

O Little Town of Bethlehem

O Worship the Lord in the Beauty of Holiness - Monsell

See Amid the Winter's Snow - Caswall

Sussex Carol (On Christmas night all Christians sing)

The First Nowell

The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy

Thou Didst Leave thy Throne and thy Kingly Crown - Elliot

Unto us a Child is Born

When the Crimson Sun had Set - Grantham

While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night

Hymns which may still be copyright

From the squalor of a borrowed stable - Townend

Glory to God!' all heav'n with joy is ringing  - Bower

Glory Glory to the Newborn King (Jesus, Jesus, what a wonderful child) - Allison 

God's Surprise (Who would think that what was needed) - Bell

I Am So Glad Each Christmas Eve - Sveeggen from Wexelsen

See him Lying on a bed of Straw - Perry

Shepherds Came their Praises Bringing - Caird

See also ...

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