Christmas Carols: a bit of their history

As we all know, a Christmas carol is a carol (song or hymn) whose lyrics are on the theme of Christmas or the winter season in general, and which is traditionally sung in the period immediately surrounding the holiday. Christmas carols may be regarded as a subset of the broader category of Christmas music.

Despite all of us think, Christmas Carols haven’t been always such a popular thing. During the Commonwealth of England government under Cromwell, the Rump Parliament prohibited the practice of singing Christmas carols as Pagan and sinful. Like other customs associated with popular Catholic Christianity, it earned the disapproval of Protestant Puritans. Famously, Cromwell’s interregnum prohibited all celebrations of the Christmas holiday. This attempt to ban the public celebration of Christmas can also be seen in the early history of Father Christmas.
The Westminster Assembly of Divines established Sunday as the only holy day in the calendar in 1644. The new liturgy produced for the English church recognised this in 1645, and so legally abolished Christmas. Its celebration was declared an offence by Parliament in 1647. There is some debate as to the effectiveness of this ban, and whether or not it was enforced in the country.
Puritans generally disapproved of the celebration of Christmas—a trend which continually resurfaced in Europe and the USA through the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
When in May 1660 Charles II restored the Stuarts to the throne, the people of England once again practiced the public singing of Christmas carols as part of the revival of Christmas customs, sanctioned by the king’s own celebrations. William Sandys’s Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern(1833), contained the first appearance in print of many now-classic English carols, and contributed to the mid-Victorian revival of the holiday.Singing carols in church was instituted on Christmas Eve 1880 (Nine Lessons and Carols) in Truro Cathedral, Cornwall, England, which is now seen in churches all over the world.

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