Missing Christmas Carol

Does anyone know why God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen is not in the United Methodist Hymnal?

They lyrics seem to be good enough and it is a very popular hymn, much more than Savior of the Nations, Come. Just wondering.

God rest ye merry, gentlemen
Let nothing you dismay
Remember, Christ, our Saviour
Was born on Christmas day
To save us all from Satan’s power
When we were gone astray
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

In Bethlehem, in Israel,
This blessed Babe was born
And laid within a manger
Upon this blessed morn
The which His Mother Mary
Did nothing take in scorn
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

From God our Heavenly Father
A blessed Angel came;
And unto certain Shepherds
Brought tidings of the same:
How that in Bethlehem was born
The Son of God by Name.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

“Fear not then,” said the Angel,
“Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him
From Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

The shepherds at those tidings
Rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding
In tempest, storm and wind:
And went to Bethlehem straightway
The Son of God to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

And when they came to Bethlehem
Where our dear Saviour lay,
They found Him in a manger,
Where oxen feed on hay;
His Mother Mary kneeling down,
Unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

Now to the Lord sing praises,
All you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood
Each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas
All other doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy,
Comfort and joy
O tidings of comfort and joy

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4 thoughts on “Missing Christmas Carol

  1. Hi Jim — I saw your post and asked my friend Mary Brooke Casad about it. She served on the Hymnal Revision Committee. She said I could share with you her recollection of the decision-making process, understanding that other HRC members could have different takes on how the process unfolded. From Mary Brooke:

    “We had too many Christmas hymns and had to start cutting. It was painful! We consulted the usage chart (a survey was taken prior to the formation of a hymnal committee to try and measure which hymns were sung the most in our churches). That played into the decision, as well as the concern about inclusive language. Many of the Christmas carols are in public domain, and can easily be copied without copyright concerns… so that was yet another factor.
    “It is indeed a good text… and hopefully will show up on many screens this Christmas!”

    As for me, the worship band I'm in has selected it as one of our anthems for the annual all-music worship service we're leading this Sunday.

    Like

  2. Thank you very much. I can completely understand the Hymnal Revision Committee's situation and having to deal with so many Christmas Hymns. I do not envy their situation.

    A little Ensemble at my church did the Barenaked Ladies/Sarah McLachlan version this past week. It was very warmly received.

    Like

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