"The Many Moods of Christmas" was recorded in 1963 by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Robert Shaw along with the Robert Shaw Chorale. The arrangements are by Robert Russell Bennett who has scored many hit Broadway musicals and has been called a musical genius.
This musical offering organizes the Christmas story into four "suites," all including four to five traditional holiday carols. This collection has been digitally re-mastered from the original 1963 release. It has been touted as a "truly classy addition to your holiday music collection."
I have seen several churches that have "The Many Moods of Christmas" as a part of their Advent/Christmas programs. Each of them includes a variety of musical selections around the Christmas theme. You might have attended one of these events yesterday on the Third Sunday in Advent.
Anticipation is one of the "many moods of Christmas" I am experiencing. The house is decorated beautifully--thanks to Lena. Christmas music is everywhere. As I am writing this I hear a choir singing "Noel, Noel, Noel, Born is the King of Israel." My daughter will arrive from California next Sunday. We are so excited to have her with us at Christmas time. It will great to share a few days with her and our younger son who lives in Atlanta. It will be wonderful to worship together on Christmas Eve. I can hardly wait!
Anxiety is another "mood" that is very prevalent in the last few days before December 25. There is much preparation necessary to accommodate family and other guests who are coming. The special programs and activities around the church and in our lives during the holiday season require a lot of work. We have to be sure arrangements have been made for the animals in the Live Nativity. Last minute rehearsals for the cantata add stress to an already tight schedule. Elaborate plans for Christmas Eve can really stretch us. An expansive Christmas meal does not just happen. And our plans often involve significant expense. Anxiety!
After all the anticipation and anxiety we experience an overwhelming feeling of adoration. When all is said and done we hear the proclamation: "Behold I bring good news of great joy to all people. Unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior who is Christ the Lord!"
When we experience the Presence of this Christ-Child we respond as the shepherds did long ago by "glorifying and praising God for all we have seen and heard."