Wednesday, December 12, 2012

My Spirit Rejoices: Great Light Of the World and A Charlie Brown Christmas

{sweet sounds for your Mass and reception}

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A few months ago, I shared with you a lovely, lovely, aching version of "It Is Well With My Soul" sung by Gianna Jessen, a survivor of abortion and all-around extraordinarily beautiful human being.  I described to you the absolute magic of the evening I heard her speak, how the room was so still and so filled with grace.  What I didn't tell you is that the same night, Bebo Norman, a Christian musician my sister and I love, was also there.  Gift.  Great Light Of the World is one of his older songs, which he re-recorded for a Christmas album a few years ago.  Ever since, I've decided to only listen to this song at Christmastime.  To me, it's such a profound reflection on the idea that in our humanness, we are only perfected, completed, and wholly fulfilled in the Lord.  I'm half a man here, he sings, so come make me whole.  This sentiment, that Jesus' birth floods our shame, sin,  and dark corners with radiant light, combined with the thought of a husband and wife giving one another a small earthly taste of divine perfection, makes this song so, so fitting for an Advent or Christmas season nuptial Mass, don't you think?  You can listen to the song here.

Seriously, who doesn't adore A Charlie Brown Christmas?  There's the blanket wrapped around the Christmas tree, the way all of the Peanuts' little mouths move in sync when they sing "Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing" and, of course, Linus' perfect speech on the real meaning of Christmas.  There's also its jazzy, incredibly familiar soundtrack--every time I hear one of the songs, like this one or this one, I picture the ice skating scene, the dancing-in-the-choir-room scene, or whatever else it is so clearly.  Chances are, I'm not the only one who loves this little movie so much and has such strong ties to the music.  That's why I think a few tunes from the Charlie Brown Christmas  soundtrack would provide such wonderful background music for your reception while everyone's having dinner or cocktails!  At my own wedding, I found that picking out dinner music was kind of a tricky business--we wanted songs that were fun and recognizable, but not in a way that would detract from the atmosphere.  We eventually went the Rat Pack and Ella Fitzgerald type route, which I imagine plenty of other couples do, but I think instrumental music, especially at Christmastime, would be such a great addition to the mix!

What's your take?  I'd love to hear your ideas for adding a little holiday music into your celebration!


  1. Would you believe that we actually did have the A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack playing during the happy hour at our reception? At least ... that was the plan. Given that we were doing our "couple in love" photo shoot at the time, I'm not actually sure that it happened, but that was the plan!

    1. Love it. That's so great! Speaking as a guest, I can't remember what was playing, but you make such a good point that as the bride, you won't be spending much time at happy hour, anyway--one less thing to stress about!

  2. I absolutely love the Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, and it makes a great base for a Pandora Christmas station!

    This gorgeous instrumental version of O Come O Come Emmanuel completely encapsulates all the quiet longing and hope of Advent. I have listened to it over 40 times, according to my iPod, and I'm still enthralled every time I hear it.

    P.S. When my friend sent me a link a month ago, when I first got engaged, I spent two hours past my self-appointed bedtime reading old posts. Your story is really inspiring, and it gives me a lot of hope to hear about what challenges and growth other young women experience, and what blessings can come with faith and trust in the Lord. Thank you!!!



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