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Christmas Special (December 06, 2015) - #4499 Music & the Spoken Word

Music & the Spoken Word broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square. December 06, 2015 Broadcast Number 4499.


“Christmas Bells Are Ringing”
Composer: Robert P. Manookin
Lyrics: Robert P. Manookin

“The First Nowell”1
English carol
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Glory to God” from Messiah2
Composer: George Frideric Handel

“Away in a Manger”
Composer: William J. Kirkpatrick
Lyrics: Anonymous

“Gesù Bambino” (Organ solo)
Composer: Pietro Yon

“Fum, Fum, Fum!”3
Catalonian carol
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Angels’ Carol”3
Composer: John Rutter
Lyrics: John Rutter

“Ding Dong! Merrily on High”1
French carol
Lyrics: G. R. Woodward
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Rejoice and Be Merry and in the CD set Christmas Collection.
  2. A new recording of Messiah by the Choir and Orchestra will be released March 4, 2016.
  3. On the CD Sing, Choirs of Angels.

Spoken Word

“Let There Be Light”

This is the season of lights. The joy, the hope, and the sacred reverence we feel at this time of year all find their own symbolic expression in holiday lights. Storefronts, town squares, and homes are decorated with strings of colorful lights that brighten the celebration and bring cheer to passersby. Bright lights dangle on evergreens, many topped with a star in remembrance of the light that marked the first Christmas morning. Menorahs, with their many shining candles, remind us of the divine light of godly wisdom. A single candle burning in an otherwise unlit window tells a story of hope and determination to overcome darkness. 

Perhaps most beautiful of all is the light that shines from the eyes of a person who is filled with love—a light kindled most often by acts of kindness and generosity. One man put it this way: “On Christmas morning, I have always appreciated the joy of giving or receiving a heartfelt gift. Family and friends can be so thoughtful. But the thing I love the most is seeing how a child’s face lights up at the sight of some longed-for gift or how the light of love brightens the eyes of someone who knows they have been remembered at this special time of year. It doesn’t matter very much what material things may be involved. What I really love is how people’s lives are brightened.”

It’s fitting, then, that we would celebrate Christmas with lights, for we are commemorating the birth of Him who is called the Light of the World. His life, His ministry sparked a flame in hearts and minds that still burns strong today. He brought hope that darkness can give way to the light and love of God. 

The light of dawn brings with it the end of night and the prospect of a new day. A lighthouse on the edge of the sea warns of unseen dangers and guides the sailor safely home. Even a small light in a dark room calms the fears of a child. So during this season of glistening decorations and shimmering flames, let’s remember the first command of our loving Creator: “Let there be light.”1

  1. Genesis 1:3