The holiday season is upon us, which means that churches are beginning to roll out Christmas playlists.
Christmas worship services are traditionally filled with lots and lots of music: carols, hymns, and songs of the season.
Worship leaders and pastors are collaborating as we write this on what music will be played for Christmas Eve services.
Pushpay, a software provider for churches, has aggregated musical data of the top 10 Christmas songs that were played by over 15,000 churches nationwide from this past year's season. Pushpay's (ChMS) system, that is present in both ChurchStaq and ParishStaq has a unique position to understand the list of top songs added to service plans from Nov 25 – Jan 4.
Top 10 Christmas Songs Played By Churches
1. O Holy Night
2. O Come All Ye Faithful
3. Silent Night
4. The First Noel
5. Joy To The World
6. Angels We Have Heard On High
7. Glorious Day
8. Goodness of God
9. Go Tell It On The Mountain
10. O Come O Come Emmanuel
Top 10 Christmas Songs Church Leaders Purchased
- Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come
- O Come, All Ye Faithful
- Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
- The First Noel
- Angels We Have Heard On High
- Silent Night, Holy Night
- O Little Town of Bethlehem
- Angels from the Realms of Glory
- O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
- It Came upon the Midnight Clear
As you can see there is quite an overlap between the two lists of purchased and downloaded music compared to the list of songs actually planned for church services.
How to Choose the Perfect Christmas Songs for Your Church Service
Christmas time is a special time of year for many people, and churches often reflect this by having special services and events. Choosing the right music for your church service can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be!
Here are a few tips on how to choose Christmas songs for your church service that will have everyone in the holiday spirit.
1. Consider the overall tone you want to set for your service.
Are you going for traditional? Fun and festive? Something else entirely? The tone of your music should match the tone of your service as a whole. If you're not sure what kind of tone you want to set, think about the demographic of your congregation and what kinds of songs they would most enjoy. If your church is relatively traditional, you might want to stick with classic Christmas carols like “O Come All Ye Faithful” and “Joy to the World.” On the other hand, if your church is more modern or contemporary in style, you might want to choose more modern Christmas songs like “Angels We Have Heard on High” or “What Child Is This?” You should also take into account the age range of your congregation when selecting Christmas songs. If you have a lot of young families with small children, you'll want to choose songs that are appropriate for kids.
2. Make a list of must-have songs.
Once you know the general tone you want to set, it's time to start thinking about specific songs. Make a list of essential Christmas songs that you absolutely want to include in your service. These could be traditional carols, modern pop hits, or anything in between! Try to balance your list so that it includes a mix of fast and slow songs, upbeat and reflective tunes, etc.
3. Choose music that everyone can participate in.
Nothing is worse than choosing a song that only the choir can sing or that requires special instruments that not everyone has access to. When picking Christmas songs for your church service, make sure to choose ones that everyone can join in on – that way, everyone can feel involved and included in the holiday festivities.
4. Choose songs that everyone knows
Related to tip #3, nothing kills holiday cheer quite like listening to someone (or yourself) butchering their way through an unfamiliar song. When choosing music for your Christmas service, stick with some well-known classics that everyone knows and loves. That way, no one will be cringing in their seat when it comes time to sing along. Bonus points if you can find arrangements that incorporate some familiar holiday tunes into them! People will be delightfully surprised when they hear snippets of “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls” woven into other seasonal favorites.
5. Don't forget about the non-musical elements of your service!
In addition to choosing great Christmas music, don't forget about other important elements of your church service such as prayers, readings, and sermons. All of these things come together to create a complete and meaningful experience for your congregation, so make sure to give them all the attention they deserve.
Choosing the right music for your church service can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! By following these tips on how to choose Christmas songs for your church service, you'll be sure to pick tunes that everyone will enjoy. From joyous carols to modern pop hits, there's something for everyone! With the right music in place, you'll have a Christmas service that your congregation will remember fondly for years to come.
I'd love to know what songs you're adding to your worship set this Christmas, especially any newer songs that you're adding to the list.