Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Sheila Whiteley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780748628087

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748628087.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 07 July 2022

Christmas Carols

Christmas Carols

(p.88) Chapter 5 Christmas Carols
Christmas, Ideology and Popular Culture

Barry Cooper

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter argues that a Christmas without Christ is, surely, ‘a celebration without meaning’. The ‘Christmas carols’ of today are of extremely varied origin, both geographically and chronologically, and their theological content ranges from the profound to the non-existent. The Christmas carol as a genre has a long history, which has gradually become intertwined with Christmas hymns and songs of all types, so that almost any short vocal piece that has a religious text relating to Christmas can now be loosely regarded as a carol. Christmas carols sometimes appeared in medieval mystery plays, though few have survived with music. There are today relatively few carol services held during the actual twelve days of the Christmas season, but a great proliferation of them from early December onwards, including the occasional Advent carol service, a more austere form with different readings and a more limited selection of carols.

Keywords:   Christmas season, Christmas carols, medieval mystery plays, music, carol service

Edinburgh Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.