The Difference Between a Carol and a Hymn

If they haven’t started already, they will soon! Christmas Carols will be on every retail store Muzak, the radio, and TV commercials.

There is something about the “sound” of a Christmas Carol that touches emotions immediately. It has nothing to do with being “pop.” Most popular Christmas Carols were written hundreds of years ago.

Part of the thing that distinguishes a “carol” is its seasonal nature. We don’t talk about them much but there are Advent carols and even Easter carols.

Many of them grew from folk music.

But a key distinguishing element of a carol is this. From the very beginning, carols—as differentiated from hymns—were meant to inspire DANCE!

Has your congregations danced to its Christmas music lately?