Keith and Kristyn Getty are a musically gifted couple that do a few things really well. Those things include providing the church with songs that are theologically thoughtful, Christ-exalting, and likely to last a long time.
Now they’ve provided us with a new album, Joy – An Irish Christmas, that displays those attributes in the context of Christmas carols, both old and new.
Keith reflects on why Christmas carols are more than just sentimental songs at the end of the year:
We would do well as worship leaders to remember that non-churchgoers are far more inclined to attend a church service during the Christmas season where songs are easy and enjoyable to sing rather than a church trying to put on the slickest possible show. The music of carols, written by some of the finest hymn writers of all time (such as Wesley, Watts and Rossetti) and arranged by equally outstanding composers (Handel, Holst and Mendelssohn) speaks for itself. We have wonderful songs to use! And Christmas gives us a wide open door to use those songs to impact culture like no other time of the year.
My favorite tracks include Magnificat (could be a beautiful solo), Jesus Joy of the Highest Heaven (great for a children’s choir), O Savior of Our Fallen Race (breathtaking arrangement and lyrics), and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (an especially exuberant version). New songs you could sing with your church include Fullness of Grace, Joy has Dawned (combined with Angels We Have Heard on High), and How Suddenly a Baby Cries.
Here’s a video that includes live performances of a number of songs on the album.