Christmas Special (December 24, 2017) - #4606 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain standard time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Announcer: Lloyd Newell

“A Christmas Carol”1 from Scrooge
by Leslie Bricusse
Arrangement: Michael Davis

“Ding Dong! Merrily on High”2
French carol
Lyrics: G. R. Woodward
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“We Wish You a Merry Christmas” (Organ solo)
English carol
Arrangement: Andrew Unsworth

“Wexford Carol”3
Irish carol
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“O Come, All Ye Faithful”4
Music: Attributed to John F. Wade
Lyrics: Attributed to John F. Wade; translated by Frederick Oakeley
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Hallelujah”5 from Messiah
Music: George Frideric Handel

  1. On the CD Keep Christmas With You.
  2. On the CD Rejoice and Be Merry! and in the CD set Christmas Collection.
  3. On the CDs Hallelujah!
  4. On the CD Sing, Choirs of Angels!
  5. On the CDs Messiah - Complete Oratorio and Messiah - Highlights.

The Spoken Word

“Night of Nights”

Christmas traditions vary throughout the world. Some people light candles. Some hang wreaths. Some set out delicious meals and tasty treats on beautifully decorated tables. Every culture adds its beautiful, rich flavor to the Christmas season. But there’s one thing that seems to be common in nearly all Christmas celebrations—families gathering at the hearth and home. Yes, there’s something about Christmas that brings families together.

And when those families gather, very many of them read a story together on Christmas Eve. It’s the story of a young mother who long ago laid her newborn baby in a manger. It’s a story about shepherds in a far-off field who heard a chorus of angels heralding the birth of the babe in Bethlehem. It’s a story about wise men who had faith enough to follow a new star across great distances, trusting that it would lead them to the young child.

In hushed tones and with tender hearts, families share their feelings about that special night so long ago. They imagine what it would have felt like to visit the manger with those shepherds or see the wise men arrive with their gifts. They marvel at the “good tidings of great joy.” They rejoice at the promise of “peace, good will toward men.” And like the shepherds, they offer glory and praise “for all the things that they [have] heard and seen.”1

It seems fitting that this story, repeated every year, is about a family. Whether our loved ones are near or far at Christmas, they feel close when we remember that night of nights—when heaven came to earth, time seemed to stand still, and nothing would ever be quite the same again. No wonder we deck the halls and put up lights. No wonder we celebrate, rejoice, and give gifts to remind us of the greatest gift ever given. No wonder we find ways to gather with those we love to remember that first Christmas night—the night when a family gathered to celebrate love, hope, and peace on earth.

  1. Luke 2:10, 14, 20.