“Gesù bambino,” “In The Bleak Midwinter,” “Joy to the World:” | Hymns for Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

COME SING WITH US THIS CHRISTMAS EVE 

Come to a church that’s refreshing, inspiring, and fun!

At Princeton United Methodist Church, we play beautiful classical and sacred music during worship, which refreshes the spirit. We also sing new or well-known hymns and “gospel and folk songs.” We pray that our music will inspire everyone, old and young, and help them find faith and hope. At this candlelight service,  we light the Christ Candle in the center of the Advent wreath and pass along the flame to our congregation members as we sing “Silent Night, Holy Night.” Here are some of the others:

Video “Gesù bambino”

“Gesù bambino” is an Italian Christmas carol composed by Pietro Yon in 1917. It was translated into English by Frederick H. Martens. The chorus’s lyrics are also the same as the lyrics in O Come All Ye Faithful’s chorus. It is known for its actual performances, numerous recordings, and every kind of vocal and instrumental arrangement.

Video. “In The Bleak Midwinter” 

“In The Bleak Midwinter” is a Christmas carol, written originally as a poem by the English poet Christina Rossetti. It is widely performed by choirs worldwide. It was named the best Christmas carol by leading choirmasters and choral experts in 2008. Verse one describes the physical circumstances of the Incarnation in Bethlehem. Verse two contrasts Christ’s first and second coming. The third verse talks about Christ’s birth, watched by animals in simple surroundings such as a stable. The fourth verse contrasts the ‘incorporeal angels attendant at Christ’s birth with Mary’s ability to render Jesus physical affection.’ The final verse examines our own conscious thoughts and feelings.

Video.Joy to the World” 

Joy to the World” is a popular Christmas carol written by Isaac Watts. The words are based on Psalm 98Psalm 96 (verses 11 and 12), and Genesis Chapter 3 (verses 17 and 18). By the late 20th century, “Joy to the World” had become the most-published Christmas hymn in North America. In the first and second verses, Watts writes about heaven and earth rejoicing at the King’s coming. In Verse three, he says Christ’s blessings extend victoriously over the realm of sin. Verse four celebrates Jesus’ rule over the nations called to celebrate because God’s faithfulness to the house of Israel has brought salvation to the world.

Click here to listen to the PUMC worship service, hear the beautiful music, the children’s time, the scripture readings, the sermon, the prayers, and the story sharing.

Celebrate with Chrismoms

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The Chrismom Tree in the sanctuary

What are Chrismoms? The large white and gold symbols on the giant tree in the sanctuary?

Watch this episode of Church Knows Church to find out.

Not many of us know the meaning behind each symbol, but here are some clues. 

Special thanks to the John Vaccaro and his family for the tree. For many years they donated the tree that stands so tall on Christmas Eve. This year John has graciously offered to donate some of the gifts given in memory of his beloved wife, Robbie, for the purchase of a faux Chrismom tree that we can enjoy year after year.

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Christmas Eve 2015. Photo by Charles Phillips.

Here is how the tree helps us celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve Family Service: 4 p.m.

2015 Christmas EveThe celebration of Christ’s birth on Christmas Eve, is such a magical night for all of us. Yet it can also be a hectic evening, as we juggle family traditions, rehearsals, gift giving, dinner, travel, and more.

This year the family worship is early, at 4:00 pm. This change in time is to help families with young children attend worship and still have the kids fed and ready for bed in good time. We are hoping to lessen the stress on families by moving earlier. This year Pastor Jana will tell the story of Christ’s birth at an informal family service with the theme “Christmas ABCs.” Can you guess where to find the Z in Christmas? The children’s choir will sing, directed by Tom Shelton.

The 8:00 pm worship is a traditional Lessons, Carols and Candlelight service. We will hear once again the beautiful Christmas story told through song, scripture, prayer and soft candlelight. Hyosang Park directs the Chancel Choir, Bell Choir, and instrumentalists. If you are an alumni of the youth choir, you are invited to “sing-in. Meet at 7:15 p.m. in Room 203 with Tom Shelton. Bring your family and friends!

Singing our way to Christmas

Karen zumbrunn 3Celebrate the season with Christmas carols at Princeton United Methodist Church — starting with the Advent Extravaganza on Sunday, December 9, 4 to 7:30 p.m. Listen to the children’s choirs and Sunday School classes present the Christmas story and join in the singing. Then enjoy dinner and crafts followed by dessert and caroling, led by Dr. Karen Zumbrunn. (If your last name begins with A to L, bring a side dish. From M to Z, bring a dessert.) Questions? anna@princetonumc.org.

Then at the United Methodist Men’s breakfast on Sunday, December 16, Dr. Zumbrunn plays and shares stories behind the carols. The delicious hot breakfast begins at 8 a.m. and the program is at 8:30 a.m. All are welcome. Please RSVP to umm@princetonumc.org or 609-924-2613 by Friday, December 12 at noon.

That night, December 14, 7:30 p.m., the combined choirs, directed by Hyosang Park and Tom Shelton, present Lessons and Carols From Around the World. A freewill offering will be taken.

On Sunday, December 21, at 4 p.m., the sanctuary hosts the New Jersey Gay Men’s Chorus as it presents Masters of Good Cheer.

And then — the candlelight services on Christmas Eve, 6 p.m. for families, a traditional service at 8 p.m.  Youth choir alumni are invited to sing with the youth choir: rehearsal at 7:15 p.m. in Room 203.

“People, look east and sing today: Love, the Lord is on the way.”