Singing "Joy to the World'

Can someone confirm when we can sing "Joy to the World" - a friend of mine is telling me that we cannot sing it on Christmas Eve, even at the end of Midnight Mass. She says that it can only be sung starting on Christmas Day because Jesus has actually been born then. However, my sister-in-law cantors at her parish, and they always sing it at the end of Midnight Mass. (Neither of these Masses is actually at midnight; they start at about 10:30 pm and end close to midnight.)

Every year our music director has the choir sing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" as our closing hymn, and my family is so disappointed that we don't sing "Joy to the World." Thanks!

[quote="KateD, post:1, topic:181229"]
Can someone confirm when we can sing "Joy to the World" - a friend of mine is telling me that we cannot sing it on Christmas Eve, even at the end of Midnight Mass. She says that it can only be sung starting on Christmas Day because Jesus has actually been born then. However, my sister-in-law cantors at her parish, and they always sing it at the end of Midnight Mass. (Neither of these Masses is actually at midnight; they start at about 10:30 pm and end close to midnight.)

Every year our music director has the choir sing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" as our closing hymn, and my family is so disappointed that we don't sing "Joy to the World." Thanks!

[/quote]

The three Masses on Christmas Eve fulfills the obligation of Christmas Day Mass.
I can certainly understand your disappointment. There's absolutely nothing wrong with Joy To The World being sung on Christmas Eve Both songs are edifying but I too would prefer Joy to the World because it sounds more vibrant and resounding of celebrating Christ's Birth.

**Joy to the world, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.

Joy to the earth, the Savior reigns!
Let men their songs employ;
While fields and floods, rocks, hills and plains
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat the sounding joy,
Repeat, repeat, the sounding joy.

No more let sins and sorrows grow,
Nor thorns infest the ground;
He comes to make His blessings flow
Far as the curse is found,
Far as the curse is found,
Far as, far as, the curse is found.

He rules the world with truth and grace,
And makes the nations prove
The glories of His righteousness,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders of His love,
And wonders, wonders, of His love.**

I cantor and sing in the choir at the Christmas Vigil and Midnight Mass and we sang Joy To The World at the end of each mass. There is absolutely nothing wrong in doing that. We also sang The Song That Will Never Cease afterwards.

**The tidings came at midnight
When earth and sky were still
And tender waves of starry light
Bathed every plain and hill

refrain:
Glory to God in the Highest
On Earth good will and peace
This is the song the angels sang
The song that will never cease.
Glory to God in the Highest,
On earth good will and peace,
This is the song the angels sang,
The song that will never cease.

With joy their blessed message
The holy heralds sang,
Till stars repeated every strain,
And earth and heaven rang
refrain

Again the holy angels,
The same glad tidings sing,
Again the stars repeat the song
And earth and heaven ring
refrain
**

Thanks for confirming this! I went to Mass this morning and asked a different friend of mine (who usually knows this sort of thing), and she also lamented that we didn’t hear “O Holy Night” - my very favorite hymn. These are both such beautiful hymns; we will probably go to a different Mass next Christmas Eve just to hear them!

A Blessed New Year to you!

We did sing Joy to the World at the end of Mass on Christmas Eve. Sunday, I sang It Came Upon a Midnight Clear, and two more traditional old favorites whose names I've forgotten. We didn't sing O Holy Night at all. The last few years, someone has sung that as a solo at the beginning of Communion, but we have a new music director and he does things differently.

I was disappointed we didn't sing Lo A Rose E'er Blooming during Advent, but we're singing it on Friday. We're also singing Immaculate Mary and Hail Holy Queen. I just hope someone else shows up, so I don't have to strain out the soprano, like I did on Sunday. Our little choir is not in very good shape. In the past we've repeated the Christmas Eve program then and changed a couple things to sing most of it again on Epiphany.

One of those two songs was the First Noel. Still can't remember the other one.

Christmas starts at midnight, so of course you can sing any Christmas hymns after midnight mass. You can also sing them Christmas eve, since you are anticipating the feast then.

The best thing to hear would be the parts of the Mass themselves (the proper introit, gradual, communion antiphon, etc). But when you have to use hymns, or for hymns before/after and outside of Mass, you most certainly can use Christmas hymns starting on Christmas Eve.

I think it's really odd to say you can't even after midnight Mass --- as midnight Mass is the first Mass of Christmas (it's not a vigil Mass). I mean, look at the reading and prayers -- they all say in different ways HODIE CHRISTUS NATUS EST NOBIS.

Litugically, Christmas starts with First Vespers on 24 December, so ANY Christmas hymn may be sung at that point.

FWIW, in the Episcopal Hymna. 1940, "Joy to the world" is in there in the GENERAL hymns section--319, I believe--and an entirely different tune. In other words, there's nothing especially Christmassy about the text, other than customary use.

Goodness! I sing Christmas carols year round! Had no idea I was violating a rule of any kind. I think probably your music folks are trying to be correct and maybe a little bit stuck on this issue. I’d tell the priest how much you love that hymn and ask if your parish can sing it next year. Or try a different Mass time.

I agree! :wink:

[quote="KateD, post:1, topic:181229"]
Can someone confirm when we can sing "Joy to the World" - a friend of mine is telling me that we cannot sing it on Christmas Eve, even at the end of Midnight Mass. She says that it can only be sung starting on Christmas Day because Jesus has actually been born then. However, my sister-in-law cantors at her parish, and they always sing it at the end of Midnight Mass. (Neither of these Masses is actually at midnight; they start at about 10:30 pm and end close to midnight.)

Every year our music director has the choir sing "Go Tell it on the Mountain" as our closing hymn, and my family is so disappointed that we don't sing "Joy to the World." Thanks!

[/quote]

I'm kind of a stickler when it comes to singing hymns appropriate for Advent and Christmas. Your 'friend' is way off somewhere. Midnight Mass is a Vigil Mass and is celebrated as if Christ is already born. It can be sung during this time.

It shouldn't be sung or played during the Advent season because the words do not match what is happening during that time. There are plenty of Advent hymns that sing about the coming of the Lord. *Go Tell It On The Mountain *is a Christmas hymn. If the director directs the choir to sing that particular song, then *Joy To The World *can also be sung. What is the difference?

Go tell it on the mountain that Jesus Christ is born!

Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Both announce the birth of Christ.

[quote="peary, post:10, topic:181229"]
It shouldn't be sung or played during the Advent season because the words do not match what is happening during that time.

[/quote]

I agree. I think the secularization of our society caused by the commercialization of Christmas makes it very difficult for a person to focus on Advent with the mad rush of advertising put on people to do their Christmas shopping. Advent seems very easily to get lost in the mix. It takes a real focus and discipline to keep the two seasons separated - and one way to do it is through a music director that is mindful of the selections he chooses for the Advent Masses. Good call peary!

MonFrere

I didn't understand all the particular details to our Christmas celebrations for awhile but the more I listened the more I understood. Some in our church were complaining that we weren't singing enough or any Christmas songs till the last week, but that only makes sense. Our three kings sit out on the altar till the day they go to the nativity scene too. And Jesus is not put into the manger scene till Christmas Eve mass at 10 pm . so it makes sense to me that if we are celebrating advent we should be in order. And we take everything down after 10 days. :) I gave my favorite Christmas cactus plant to Mary this year, put it right by her. It is blooming and right on time. :thumbsup:

[quote="Through_Him, post:12, topic:181229"]
I didn't understand all the particular details to our Christmas celebrations for awhile but the more I listened the more I understood. Some in our church were complaining that we weren't singing enough or any Christmas songs till the last week, but that only makes sense. Our three kings sit out on the altar till the day they go to the nativity scene too. And Jesus is not put into the manger scene till Christmas Eve mass at 10 pm . so it makes sense to me that if we are celebrating advent we should be in order. And we take everything down after 10 days. :) I gave my favorite Christmas cactus plant to Mary this year, put it right by her. It is blooming and right on time. :thumbsup:

[/quote]

What? No 12 Days of Christmas? :eek:

We sang Angels we have heard on high because that was our Gloria ( and our director plays the trumpet, the only time of the year he does)
and GO tell it on the mountain and our director has us loudly sing GO and a pause:cool:he is quite dramatic
And we begged him let us sing O holy night, that was difficult as a group because of the arrangement that our pianist had to play. ( but he gave in )
And some of the other songs but not a lot no time but then more christmas songs get sung at future masses.

Mass was at 10p and got over at 11:30p a neighbor parish had the midnight I went to that once and it was nice.

[quote="peary, post:13, topic:181229"]
What? No 12 Days of Christmas? :eek:

[/quote]

I know isn't there a saying that the best thing is the anticipation. That is half the fun?
We have a wonderful lady that sets up and organizes us all and everything in just two days. She is a wonder. We started on Monday before Christmas. 12 Christmas trees, yes there is our twelve. :) The thing is she buys two large and then they give her 10 more smaller ones to go with it for free.and the list is too long for all the rest . I stayed 7 hours to help but was so exhausted had to go home and rest.Tuesday she continues and oh my there is just so much. Then by Wednesday night, we were ready. Four big candles, well we could write a new song here. She even puts 6 little mice, ahh not real though, last year was 5, in the big manger scene. How did you know she was organizing **12 **pieces of the puzzle?
I just said I have one Cactus for Mary and that is her present and would not take no for an answer so she gulped and had to accept it ha ha. :p
She is quite a neat lady, and her name is Maryln just coincidence.

Um, but the Twelve Days of Christmas begin on 25 December and end on 6 January...:nerd:

They can last as long as we want I suppose. I’m not sure when she wants us to help take it all down. Me, I am starting at my house today. It doesn’t take as long to take it down as put it up. It is a good day to stay in we are below zero again. Brrrrrr!!! But still I feel like singing
Joy to the world:)

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