The Sounds of Christmas

What’s your favorite Christmas song? You shared a number of favorites in worship when I asked last Sunday. It seems we like everything from “O Holy Night” to “Rudolph” to “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

We often think of our song choices as “traditional” songs that have been around forever. In the list of the 30 most-played Christmas songs in 2015, none were written after I graduated from college and 26 were written before I was born!

Christmas is one of the few times a year that we like to get nostalgic, and we use our music to evoke those powerful memories. For me, I need that exact recording for me to “feel” Christmas. I spent decades trying to find a digital recording of my parents’ Christmas album they got from the gas station. Nobody else could sing those songs the correct way! I mentioned Sunday my excitement when I received a record player so I could import those albums that I now have into my computer. I am currently listening to Dennis Day’s album, “White Christmas,” recorded around 1968; I’ll move on to the others pretty soon!

Music is a powerful tool for bringing back memories. “Psychology Today” tells us this:

  • The relationship between music and memory is powerful. Music evokes powerful emotions that then bring back memories. When we listen to a piece of music from years ago, we seem to travel back to that moment. We can feel everything as if we were there.
    Check out more here.

It’s important that we continue to play and sing the songs of Christmas, but especially the songs of our Christmas faith. I am excited that the cantata has returned after a two-year hiatus. Experiencing the songs with strings and voices in our Sanctuary can be a powerful memory that we think back on later when we need reminded of the angels who sang good news of God With Us. Sitting in the meditation gardens with harp music playing as we soak in the sunshine and the peaceful calm around us can be a powerful memory that sustains us when we feel chaotic later. Hearing songs playing with the laughter of kids and the smell of roasting marshmallows on the patio will be a powerful memory we can remember when we are alone one evening.

Don’t rely only on your past for your Christmas memories. Come make new ones!

In worship Sunday we will contemplate God’s love as we read Mary’s song of praise after the angel spoke to her. Her song has been in the memory of Christians for generations as we hear her praise of God in uncertain times. Come worship, make music, and make memories.

See you soon,
Pastor Lynn


  • 8:30 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Traditional service in Sanctuary and child care in Rm 15
  • 10 a.m. Youth and children’s Sunday School and child care (except fifth Sundays)
  • 10 a.m. Livestream premieres on YouTube and Website

To access our livestream service:

  • From the main menu on our website click “Worship.”  -OR-
  • Go to YouTube and search for UMC St. Mark’s Oro Valley or use this link.