Some Beautiful Christmas Music

(Image: Choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception)

14 min • January 2, 2022

I know you like beautiful music. Here is some of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Possibly the closest thing on earth to hearing the angels sing.

They’re all sung by the amazing choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

  • Noel sung beautifully during Holy Communion on Christmas Day 2021

  • Of the Father’s Heart Begotten (a hymn I never heard before) sung immediately after that Noel in the same Mass

  • The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came sung during Christmas Eve Mass on 2018, very beautifully. I never heard of this carol before.

  • O Holy Night sung during Christmas Eve Mass in 2019

  • We Three Kings from this year’s Christmas Concert by this amazing choir

  • Mary’s Magnificat from 2017’s Christmas Eve concert, so beautiful

  • King of Glory, King of Peace sung just before Christmas Eve Mass began in 2017. I’ve never heard of this one either. After a few listens, it grew on me, and it’s now one of my favorite. At least, this rendition.

  • 2017 Christmas Eve mashup, very beautiful and impressive, which includes these songs:

    • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
    • Noel
    • Good Christian Friends, Rejoice
    • Come ye lofty, come ye lowly

Here’s the lyrics in case you want to learn these songs like I do:


The First Noel, the Angels did say
Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay
In fields where they lay keeping their sheep
On a cold winter’s night that was so deep.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

They looked up and saw a star
Shining in the East beyond them far
And to the earth it gave great light
And so it continued both day and night.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

And by the light of that same star
Three Wise men came from country far
To seek for a King was their intent
And to follow the star wherever it went.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

This star drew nigh to the northwest
O’er Bethlehem it took its rest
And there it did both pause and stay
Right o’er the place where Jesus lay.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then entered in those Wise men three
Full reverently upon their knee
And offered there in His presence
Their gold and myrrh and frankincense.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Then let us all with one accord
Sing praises to our heavenly Lord
That hath made Heaven and earth of nought
And with his blood mankind has bought.
Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel
Born is the King of Israel!

Of the Father's Heart Begotten

Of the Father’s heart begotten,
Ere the world from chaos rose,
He is Alpha: from that Fountain
All that is and hath been flows;
He is Omega, of all things
Yet to come the mystic Close,
Evermore and evermore.

By his word was all created;
He commanded and ‘twas done;
Earth and sky and boundless ocean,
Universe of three in one,
All that sees the moon’s soft radiance,
All that breathes beneath the sun,
Evermore and evermore.

He assumed this mortal body,
Frail and feeble, doomed to die,
That the race from dust created
Might not perish utterly,
Which the dreadful Law had sentenced
In the depths of hell to lie,
Evermore and evermore.

O How blest that wondrous birthday,
When the Maid the curse retrieved,
Brought to birth mankind’s salvation,
By the Holy Ghost conceived;
And the Bade, the world’s Redeemer,
In her loving arms received,
Evermore and evermore.

This is he, whom seer and sibyl
Sang in ages long gone by;
This is he of old revealed
In the page of prophecy;
Lo! he comes, the promised Savior;
Let the world his praises cry!
Evermore and evermore.

Sing, ye heights of heav’n, his praises;
Angels and Archangels, sing!
Wheresoe’er ye be, ye faithful,
Let your joyous anthems ring,
Ev’ry tongue his name confessing,
Countless voices answering,
Evermore and evermore

The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came

The angel Gabriel from heaven came
His wings as drifted snow his eyes as flame
“All hail” said he “thou lowly maiden Mary,
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

“For know a blessed mother thou shalt be,
All generations laud and honor thee,
Thy Son shall be Emanuel, by seers foretold
Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head
“To me be as it pleaseth God,” she said,
“My soul shall laud and magnify his holy name.”
Most highly favored lady. Gloria!

Of her, Emanuel, the Christ was born
In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn
And Christian folk throughout the world will ever say:
“Most highly favored lady,” Gloria!

O Holy Night

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth;
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
'Till he appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees,
Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine!
O night when Christ was born.
O night divine,
O night, O night divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming;
With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand:
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from the Orient land,
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;

He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before him bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!

Christ is the Lord, then ever and ever praise we!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!

We Three Kings

We Three Kings of Orient are,
Bearing gifts we traverse afar,
Field and fountain,
Moor and mountain,
Following yonder Star.

Star of Wonder, Star of Night,
Star with Royal Beauty bright,
Westward leading,
Still proceeding,
Guide us to Thy perfect Light.


Born a King on Bethlehem plain,
Gold I bring to crown Him again,
King for ever,
Ceasing never
Over us all to reign.
O Star, &c.


Frankincense to offer have I,
Incense owns a Deity nigh:
Prayer and praising
All men raising,
Worship Him God Most High.
O Star, &c.


Myrrh is mine; its bitter perfume
Breathes a life of gathering gloom;—
Sorrowing, sighing,
Bleeding, dying,
Sealed in the stone-cold tomb.
O Star, &c.

Glorious now behold Him arise,
King, and God, and Sacrifice;
Heav’n sings Hallelujah:
Hallelujah the earth replies.
O Star, &c.

Come ye lofty, come ye lowly

Come ye lofty, come ye lowly
Let your songs of gladness ring;
In a stable lies the Holy,
In a manger rests the King:
See in Mary’s arms reposing
Christ by highest heav’n adored:
Come, your circle 'round Him closing,
Pious hearts that love the Lord.

Come ye poor, no pomp of station
Robes the Child your hearts adore:
He, the Lord of all salvation,
Shares your want, is weak and poor:
Oxen, round about behold them;
Rafters naked, cold, and bare,
See the Shepherds, God has told them
That the Prince of Life lies there.

Come ye children blithe and merry,
This one Child your model make;
Christmas holly, leaf, and berry,
All be prized for His dear sake:
Come ye gentle hearts and tender,
Come ye spirits keen and bold;
All in all your homage render,
Weak and mighty, young and old.

High above a star is shining,
And the wise men haste from far:
Come glad hearts, and spirits pining–
For you all has ris’n the star.
Let us bring our poor oblations,
Thanks and love, and faith and praise;
Come ye people, come ye nations,
All in all draw nigh to gaze.

King of Glory, King of Peace

King of glory, King of peace,
I will love Thee;
and that love may never cease,
I will move Thee.
Thou hast granted my request,
Thou hast heard me;
Thou didst note my working breast,
Thou hast spared me.

Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing Thee,
and the cream of all my heart
I will bring Thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
Thou didst clear me;
and alone, when they replied,
Thou didst hear me.

Sev’n whole days, not one in sev’n,
I will praise Thee;
in my heart, though not in heav’n,
I can raise Thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort
to enroll Thee:
e’en eternity’s too short
to extol Thee.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest you merry gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember Christ our Savior
Was born on Christmas Day
To save us all from all our sin
When we had gone astray

O Tidings of Comfort and Joy,
Comfort and Joy,
O Tidings of Comfort and Joy

In Bethlehem, in Jury,
This blessed Babe was born,
And laid within a manger,
Upon that holy morn;
To which His mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn.

O Tidings of Comfort and Joy,
Comfort and Joy,
O Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Now to the Lord sing praises
All you within this place
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace
This holy tide of Christmas
All others doth deface

O Tidings of Comfort and Joy,
Comfort and Joy,
O Tidings of Comfort and Joy

Good Christian friends, rejoice

Good Christian friends, rejoice
with heart and soul, and voice;
give ye heed to what we say:
News, news! Jesus Christ is born today!
Ox and ass before him bow,
and he is in the manger now.
Christ is born today,
Christ is born today!

Good Christian friends, rejoice,
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye hear of endless bliss:
Joy, joy! Jesus Christ was born for this!
He hath opened heaven’s door,
and now has blest us evermore.
Christ was born for this,
Christ was born for this!

Good Christian friends, rejoice,
with heart and soul and voice;
now ye need not fear the grave:
Peace, peace! Jesus Christ was born to save!
Calls you one and calls you all,
to gain his everlasting hall.
Christ was born to save,
Christ was born to save!

Mary's Magnificat

Softly a light is stealing,
Sweetly a maiden sings,
Ever wakeful, ever wistful,
Watching faithfully, thankfully,
Tenderly her King of kings.

My soul doth magnify,
Doth magnify the Lord:
And my spirit hath rejoiced,
Rejoiced in God my Saviour.

Mary her song to Jesus
Softly serenely sings:
“I will love you, I will serve you,
May my lullaby glorify,
Magnify my King of kings”.

Lullaby, lullaby.

And when you’re done listening to those songs, if you still want more, this same choir sung this 1 hour Christmas Concert just a week ago. It’s great to put on in the background.

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