And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
UPDATE: In all the years I’ve been a classical performer, I’ve come to understand that one that can sing the works of the masters without seeing the hand of God and feeling his breath are truly sad souls. After posting this, I came across a wonderful post from Andrew Klavan that features two of the most wonderful works of a capella music ever written: Ave Maria by Franz Biebl and O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridson. I’ve had the great pleasure to perform both of these works in recent years. Please, gentle readers, take the link and hear them for yourself. You’ll know the true meaning of Christmas once more. I can give you no more beautiful Christmas gift.
MERRY CHRISTMAS and a Blessed New Year From Stately McDaniel Manor
ps: “A capella” means, by the way, “in church style.” In the early days of the church, instruments weren’t allowed. In fact, it took a very long time before harmony was allowed. The fear was that people would appreciate the music more than the Gospel. We now think it to mean “without accompaniment,” but in its truest form, it means that as well.