Methodists have long been known as “a singing people.” I am not a good singer, but I can say that I am a passionate and, hopefully in God’s ears, a beautiful singer. Singing is one of the important parts of my life and in my church life, especially during this time of Advent and the Christmas season.
What is your favorite Christmas hymn to listen and sing? What is your favorite Christmas carol to listen to and sing?
I believe that “Silent Night” is a favorite of many people but what other Christmas songs do you love to hear and sing? To me, it is “What Child Is This?” I love listening to “What Child Is This,” because of its tune. The tune is known as “Greensleeves,” an English melody from the 16th century. Recently, I learned that Shakespeare refers twice to “Greensleeves” in his play “The Merry Wives of Windsor,” helping to date it to the 16th century.
I believe that it is one of the most beautiful and beloved melodies of the season. The reason why I love this hymn and tune is that it gives me mixed but harmonious emotions. It could sound melancholy. It could sound joyful. Somehow it embraces all my mixed, unexplainable and hidden emotions, and makes them harmonious, beautiful and fully present as they are.
I know that this season is often hectic, and we are distracted by many things. But how about taking a pause and taking the time to listen to your favorite Christmas song or to enjoy singing it with your unique and beautiful voice? It is Christmas. Please remember and reflect that you are loved.
Our God came as a baby Jesus, the most vulnerable one, in order to show God’s love and grace to you. I hope that you have a Merry Christmas with your family, friends or neighbors and with your favorite Christmas song!
Hwapyoung Kang is the pastor of Gilroy United Methodist Church and Hollister United Methodist Church.