Several weeks ago I posted some ideas for Advent; now it's almost time for Christmas!  Are you looking for some new songs to complement the carols?  I'll cover a few of those first, then move into updated version of the classics.
1. Born in Bethlehem - Third Day.  Off their great "Christmas Offerings" album, this song connects Christmas with Holy Week and Jesus' resurrection.
2. Shout for Joy - Lincoln Brewster.  So good I wish we could sing it all year long!  What an album Lincoln put out last year.
3. Christmas Offering - Paul Baloche.  A nice Christmas version of his song called "Offering."
4. Glory Be - Sojourn.  This band from the church of the same name in Kentucky doesn't get enough attention. This is a great, subdued piece that also works for Advent.
5. Hosanna in the Highest - Sojourn.  This one rocks a bit more.  Will work well into Epiphany, with its reference to being guided by "stars over Bethlehem."
6. Unto Us - Dave Chumchal.  Nice upbeat song that references a text from Isaiah 9 not common in carols - "unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given."
7. You're Here - Francesca Battisteli.  What a beautiful song written from Mary's perspective.  Would be great especially for a solo or special music piece.
8. Gloria - Mercy Me.  A new chorus and bridge are added to an arrangement of "Angels We Have Heard On High."

The rest of this list are my favorite updated arrangements of the well-known worship carols:
9. Joy to the World - Lincoln Brewster.  If you like guitar, you NEED to hear this album.
10. Hark the Heral Angels Sing - Brewster.  If angels had electric guitars!
11. Silent Night - Brewster.  This nice bluesy version has surpassed the simpler Third Day version for me.  By the way, this one was written on guitar.  So if nothing else, just grab an acoustic and play it.
12. What Child is This - Future of Forestry and Sojourn both have great, unique renditions.
13. The First Noel - David Crowder Band.  If you like Crowder, you'll love this.  If not, you won't.
14. God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman - MercyMe (loud) or Jars of Clay (soft). 
15. Angels We Have Heard On High - If you don't like MercyMe's new version, check out Chris Tomlin or Third Day.
16. O Come All Ye Faithful - Third Day provides a nice southern rock version of this classic carol. 

For a list of albums to consider adding to your Christmas collection - many of which will give you additional arrangement options - see my Advent/Christmas post from last year.  Merry Christmas and blessings as you worship the newborn King!


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