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Members of the Southeast Church of Christ in Aurora, Colo., sing "Magnificat."
Voices Only
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Voices Only: Yes, Mary knew

Part 1 of our Christmas Extravaganza features a cappella renditions of “Magnificat” and a reminder to keep your car locked while shopping.

Welcome to the Voices Only Christmas Extravaganza — Part 1. This week I’m going to share a few of my holiday faves and a couple of interesting, holiday themed videos I’ve run across.

But I want to hear from you. What are your favorite Christmas songs? Least favorite? Songs that make you laugh? Songs that make you cry? Post in the comments at the end of this piece or email me at [email protected]. If we get enough responses and I can find a cappella versions online I’ll get a Part 2 post together next week.

Let’s kick this thing off with one of my favorite a cappella groups, Uganda’s Jehovah Shalom Acapella — singing in two languages.

Yes, I am aware that some of us in Churches of Christ aren’t comfortable with the idea of celebrating Christmas as a religious holiday. We have written about that before. I was brought up that way. We celebrate the birth, life, death, burial and resurrection of Christ every Sunday. So, if you’d prefer to fill up my inbox with admonitions to that effect, then … what’s that line about not having a ha’penny? God bless you!

Related: What about Christmas?

Anyway, when it comes to favorite songs, many of you won’t be choosing “Mary, Did You Know?” Wow. The social media backlash against Mark Lowry’s 1991 holiday hit is particularly intense this year.

Christianity Today got into the theology of this a few years ago, so I won’t rehash it here. But why all the animosity? Personally, I blame these guys:

Pentatonix took this song to new heights — and set it on the path to heavy rotation — back in 2014 with this powerful rendition. Plus, there’s the whole commercialization aspect. I had to watch Craig Robinson of “Office” fame sing the virtues of Pizza Hut before I could watch this video.

Honestly, if we want to know what Mary knew, let’s ask Mary. Here’s a beautiful, haunting rendition of the Magnificat (Mary’s prayer from Luke 1:46-55) sung by the Choir of Clare College, Cambridge.

I had to sit through an ad of Tony Romo and his wife selling sneakers to “watch” that video, by the way. I tell ya, I’m just about to break into Linus’ speech from “A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

But wait! Here’s a video I didn’t have to watch an ad to see. It’s a version of the Magnificat (the version we usually sing in worship) done in the midst of the pandemic last year by members of the Southeast Church of Christ in Aurora, Colo. Great job, friends!

And now, on a completely different note, here’s an a cappella reminder from the LaGrange Police Department in Georgia to keep your car locked while you’re out shopping this Christmas season.

My 8-year-old’s favorite Christmas song is “Jingle Bell Rock.” And these kids here absolutely nail it!

Wow! And this original version by The Originals is equally great.

Wrapping it up, here’s probably the most bizarre video I came across this week — “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by the Acappelicans.

Seriously, who is actually singing the lead here? Are any of these folks actually singing?

Don’t forget to post your favorite Christmas songs below or email me. Thanks!

Filed under: a cappella A Charlie Brown Christmas christmas Christmas songs favorite Christmas songs Voices Only

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