Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Christmas Carols: I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

I thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

And in despair I bowed my head:
"There is no peace on earth," I said,
"For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men."

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Till, ringing singing, on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime,
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote the lyrics to this carol on Christmas day in 1863, listening to the bells while nursing his son back to health from injuries sustained in the Civil War. I thought about this carol, trying to process the horrific events of this week.

I talked to my husband, and we cried.

I called my mom, and we cried.

I called my sisters, and we cried.

I stopped talking about it, because there were no words. There still aren't.

I kept thinking, "But this is Christmastime!"

And almost forgetting: This is Christmastime.

This is the season of

 and the season of FAITH.

This is the season when we celebrate that

and we will be together again because this precious Savior was born in Bethlehem all those years ago.

So I choose to celebrate hope and faith in Christmas this year. Some moments, the lights seem a little more dim than usual, and maybe the decorations seem a little less beautiful. But the true meaning of Christmas has never felt quite as important.

The wrong shall fail, the right prevail, with peace on earth, good will to men.

We wish you peace this Christmas season.

(All printables in this post are free to use as you wish.)


  1. That is so beautifully said! We need to hope for a better world.

  2. Beautifully done. Let us not forget that it was in the dark of night, when the brightest light shone. That wondrous night long ago. And we are definitely IN NEED of a little Christmas. God bless us all.

  3. These are the VERY words, the very poem-turned-song that I have quieted my heart with over the past weekend. And because you also are book lovers, check out the book telling the story of Longfellow's poem: http://readmeastorynow.blogspot.com/2010/12/i-heard-bells-on-christmas-day.html BTW: I'm pinning that very last image. Thank you!

  4. Thank you for a beautiful post. I liked it so much I referred your post on my blog. I hope we can find that HOPE we all need so much. Thanks, again.

  5. Truer words were never expressed as beautifully as you have. My mom and I talked about this carol in light of the recent events and it reminds me of a couple of quotes. One is from 1994s Miracle on 34th Street: "If you can't accept anything on faith, then you're doomed for a life dominated by doubt." The other is from a religious leader, Jeffrey Holland, "We know the results of the game. The score is already posted. God will win. The question is, whose side will we be on?" This truly is the season of hope and faith. "But Heaven surely knows that packages and bows can never heal a hurting human soul." The only one who can is the Savior who is the reason for the season.

  6. Thank you for giving such encouragement. It is so easy for me to focus on the evil or sad instead of the amazing, life changing truth of Jesus coming to earth!

    I so appreciate th re-focus!

    Merry Christmas to you!

    Miss Frannie


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