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Christmas Special (December 25, 2016) - #4554 Music & the Spoken Word

Music & the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. December 25, 2016 Broadcast Number 4554A.


“Noe! Noe!”1
French carol
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Angels We Have Heard on High” (organ solo)
French carol
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“Shepherds’ Dance” (organ solo)
Music: Richard Elliott

“Good King Wenceslas” (organ solo) 
Music: Richard Elliott

“God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen” (organ solo)
Music: Richard Elliott

“Go Tell It on the Mountain” (organ solo) 
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” 
by Felix Mendelssohn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

1. On the album Spirit of the Season and in the CD set Christmas Collection.

Spoken Word

Good News and Glad Tidings

On that holy night so long ago, angels ushered in the world’s first Christmas celebration with a declaration of “good tidings of great joy.”1 And ever since, good tidings of great joy have filled the hearts of all who celebrate Christmas. It’s only natural that we imagine that host of angels as a choir and their proclamation as a song. What better way to express such exultant feelings than with glorious music! Whether we are performing, singing along, or just listening, the music of Christmas unites us in a celebration of good news.

It’s almost impossible to listen to a jubilant Christmas carol and frown, fret, or feel hopeless. Turmoil may be swirling around us, but the promise of peace on earth and “good will toward men,”2 renewed in each song of Christmas, renews our hope. And we need that hope. We need that good news. We need that peace and joy, that quiet and stillness—even if it’s for a moment, for one special season of the year.

Christmas is a yearly reminder, an annual testimony, that peace and good will are possible. That is the good news of Christmas: there may be conflict and strife in the world, but today we remember the birth of One who overcame the world—the Prince of Peace.3 That peace begins in a single heart but can spread quickly. As the prophet Isaiah proclaimed, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings.”4

We proclaim peace every time we reach out in love and compassion to another, every time we think of others more than ourselves. We bring good tidings whenever we choose to do the right thing, to live with honor and integrity. How appropriate, then, that Christmas should be the season of these good tidings—for is there another season of the year when we feel more deeply and long more earnestly for the peace and good will promised on the plains of Bethlehem?

May we each find our own way to proclaim peace, to go tell this good news on our own mountain. On Christmas day and every day, may we live the glad tidings we feel.

1. Luke 2:10.
2. Luke 2:14.
3. See John 16:33.
4. Isaiah 52:7, New International Version.