Christmas During Medieval Times

FQ480344_942longThe music of Christmas has always brought joy, awe, and festivity. Christmas music has evolved as traditions have changed. However, the meaning of the holiday has remained. Here is a short history of Christmas music from the Middle Ages.

The first specifically Christmas hymns that we know of appear in fourth-century Rome. Like all Christian music of the Middle Ages, these were Latin hymns. Specifically, they were used for liturgical purposes. Instruments were never used. Therefore, all songs were performed a cappella. Christmas music was not sung outside of churches.

St. Ambrose of Milan wrote Veni Redemptor Gentium (“Come, Redeemer of the nations”), in the fourth century. He composed it for the Advent season. Accordingly, it especially signifies the holiness of Jesus of Nazareth.



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2 Responses to Christmas During Medieval Times

  1. Shannon says:

    This music, sung in a foreign language, brought me to my knees in prayer. The phrase, Holiness of Jesus, inspired in me to enter into deep prayer for our world … which in so many ways, I believe, seems near lost. It also brought to mind another song, Take Time to be Holy. Thank you Brad so very much for your thoughtful contributions of music, spirituality, history, and for your ability to blend all of these things together to be shared with others. May you be blessed in this holy season and may your moments of holiness increase.

  2. Sharon Ford says:

    Brad, I am enjoying your Christmas music history and the beauty of the songs. Thanks for sharing your music passion with the rest of us! And, Merry Christmas!

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