Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC

Thursday, December 23

By Nancy Christmas

Musical Traditions of Christmas

Read Psalm 150:1,3-4

“Praise the Lord! Praise Him with the trumpet and with lute and harp. Praise Him with the tambourines and processional. Praise Him with stringed instruments and horns. Hallelujah!”

One of the highlights of Christmas growing up was going with my family to visit relatives in middle TN. We had a favorite tradition of gathering around the piano after eating our meal and singing Christmas carols. I was really impressed with how well our voices blended so harmoniously. Having our family’s antique upright piano at home sparked my interest to take piano lessons at an early age and continue throughout high school. 

A few years ago, my piano became unplayable and could not be repaired. I located a skilled and creative woodworker who repurposed it for me by making multiple music boxes from the piano’s beautiful wood. In addition, he used the ivory and ebony keys from the keyboard to decorate the boxes. Six boxes were designed and five were given to my family members (nieces, nephews and my brother) for Christmas 2019. The legacy of our family piano lives on. 

And speaking of music, I always look forward to the many wonderful performances each Sunday, during the holidays and throughout the year. These musical moments provided by the choirs, our organist, UT music students, pianists, the handbells, our harpist, and other invited guests who possess unique musical talents, are truly a source of enjoyment and inspiration.

On Christmas Eve, as we gather together to anticipate the arrival of Baby Jesus, may our hearts be filled with joy, love and peace as we light a candle and listen to our beautiful music at Church Street. May these melodies remain in our hearts as we celebrate His birth on Christmas Day and the love He shares with us every day of the year.


Dear Lord, Let us all be joyous as we celebrate the birth of Jesus at Christmas with the warmth of a candle, the praises we sing and the many gifts of love. May we always hold near to our hearts the true meaning of this special day. For this Christmas, and each Christmas that follows, shall we be endowed with the divine spirit and love of Jesus Christ. Amen.

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