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Weekly Devotionals Right from the pastors desk
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Scripture Reference: Mathew 1:21

Its that time of the year when we get together as families to remember and celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we celebrate, we wish to remind the entire LUC family that we are thinking warmly about each one of you and we wish your families an extra measure of comfort, joy and hope this Christmas.
For many of us, Christmas is not complete without listening to the atmospheric and angelic sound of carols; thank God for our choir who have been used by God to minister to us through the singing of carols every Christmas season. Today, we will reflect on the history of Christmas carols.

The history of Christmas carols in Europe (where we have our roots), goes back to Pagan Winter Solstice celebrations. Revellers, not singing celebratory songs would usually dance around stone circles. In its original form, the word ‘carol’ had several meanings. Pagans would cite it as a dance to something. In fact, the word carol is derived from the French word carole, which was a type of circular procession of dancers and singers. Carol also applies to songs of praise and joy. However, in the Pagan tradition, these celebrations took place throughout the year and not just in or around wintertime. As generations passed, carol singing became more synonymous with the Christmas holiday.
Almost immediately after Christianity began to rise and spread through Europe, the older Pagan traditions were superseded by Christian observances. One of the earliest versions of a carol was a song that was titled the Hymn of the Angels or Gloria in Excelsis. The song details the words of the angels after the announcement of Jesus’ birth to the shepherds.

The “Father of Christmas carols” was Saint Francis of Assisi. In Greccio, Italy, 1223, St. Francis created nativity scenes in a cave, complete with live animals, and invited the villagers to gather around the manger while he spoke about baby Jesus. Worshippers sang hymns, or “canticles,” as St. Francis called them. Only some of the new carols were sung in Latin, and, thus, the audience was able to participate in the songs of praise. This idea quickly spread to France, Spain, and Germany before spreading further afield in Europe.We have maintained this tradition, that’s why we gather today to share the story of the birth of Jesus through songs.
The most famous type of Carol Service is said to be a festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, where carols and Bible readings tell the Christmas Story.The gospel according to St. Matthew records the birth of Jesus, where we are reminded that ….. ‘He was born to save his people from their sins.’’(Matthew1:21). This remains the reason for this season.

As we celebrate Christmas with our family and friends, let’s not loose focus on the reason for this season.
O come let us adore Him! Wishing you lots of joy and love to you and yours this Christmas.
Pastoral team.