Listen to: “The First Noel”
Before the printing press Bibles were not readily available to the masses or really to most small churches. One way to share the words and stories in the Bible were to make them into songs. Really this is brilliant! There are many things I have a hard time remembering…like why I just walked downstairs…but words set to song are stuck in my mind forever.
The First Noel is one such song, to help those without a Bible know and remember the Christmas story. This song follows the story found in Luke. But here we have a word, right in the title that we don’t really use much today, but had deep meaning to the first singers of this song. Noel has roots in several languages. The Latin root of this word means to be born. The English root…joyous noise/praise, and the French meaning of the root means news. What a rich word this Noel. So, the angels joyously proclaimed the good news of the birth of Jesus.
Now the meaning of Noel is Christmas. The celebration of the birth of Christ, the good news of God with us. May you sing Noel this Christmas Eve, Eve as you once more prepare your hearts for the arrival of the Christ child.
Activity with Kids:
Share the meaning of the word Noel. Ask which meaning they like the best and why. Talk about which song they have heard this season that they like best. Why? For the music, video, or words?
The First Noel
The First Noel the angel did say Was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay; In fields as 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. 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. This star drew nigh to the northwest, O'er Bethlehem it took it rest, And there it did both stop and stay Right over the place where Jesus lay.
Then entered in those wise men three Full reverently upon their knee, and offered there in his presence Their gold, and myrrh, and frankincense. Then let us all with one accord Sing praises to our heavenly Lord; That hath made heaven and earth of naught, And with his blood mankind hath bought