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Christmas “Lessons & Carols” 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie

Today, I have a beautiful music lesson for you! It’s a Traditional Christmas Lessons & Carols 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie based on the Traditional Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. The free introduction and first lesson below are from the Music of Christmas online course (where you’ll find all 9 lessons).

Christmas "Lessons & Carols" 15-Minute Music Lesson Freebie

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols:

The Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is a church service celebrated on Christmas Eve (or near it) every year. It uses nine short Bible readings (called the “lessons”) that take the listener through the story of the fall from sin in the Garden of Eden, to the promise of the coming Messiah, and to the birth of Jesus. Interspersed throughout the lessons are Christmas carols, songs, hymns and/or choral anthems.

Origins of Lessons and Carols

The origins of the Christmas Lessons & Carols dates to Truro Cathedral in Cornwall, England. In the late 1800s Christmas carols were being accepted into the church as a part of worship for celebrating the Incarnation (Christmas). In 1880, the Bishop of Truro added lessons with the carols for the first Nine Lessons and Carols service. It has spread in popularity from that time.

On Christmas Eve, 1918, the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols was held at King’s College, Cambridge in England. This particular service became very popular especially after it began to be broadcast by the BBC in 1928. It was first broadcast on television in 1954 and is still broadcast every year.

Since 1919, the King’s College order of service has remained basically the same. Other churches and denominations have taken the format of the lessons and carols and made their own versions by changing the Scriptures read for the lessons or the songs sung for the carols. The version below is mostly influenced by the King’s College version of 2008.

Music of Christmas online course

Find all 9 Lessons and Carols in the Music of Christmas online course, It is 15% off during December 2020 with coupon code CHRISTMAS2020, and includes 3 year’s worth of Christmas music lessons. Most included music lessons are only 15-30 minutes long, and you receive lifetime access to the course!

Click here to see this lesson in particular in the online course format.

Music of Christmas online course, an online course to get you in the holiday Christmas spirit with 15-Minute Music Lessons from #Christmas #Christmasmusic #musiclesson #homeschoolmusic


Lesson 1 of the Christmas Lessons and Carols

Organ prelude

Allein Gott in der Höh sei Her, BWV 716 by Johann Sebastian Bach

Processional Hymn

“Once in Royal David’s City”

(words by Cecil Frances Alexander; melody by Henry Gauntlett)

See free sheet music here.

Lyrics for “Once in Royal David’s City”

Once in royal David’s city,
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor and meek and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior holy.

And through all
His wondrous childhood,
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly mother,
In whose gentle arms He lay.
Christian children all should be,
Mild, obedient, good as He.

For He is our child-hood’s pattern,
Day by day like us He grew,
He was little, weak, and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew,
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that child so dear and gentle,
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on,
To the place where He is gone.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him, but in heaven,
Set at God’s right hand on high;
When like stars
His children crowned,
All in white shall be around.

Bidding Prayer

Say a prayer together.


“If Ye Would Hear the Angels Sing”

(words by D. Greenwell; music by P. Tranchell)

Lyrics by Dora Greenwell (1821-1882):

If ye would hear the angels sing
‘Peace on earth and mercy mild’,
Think of him who was once a child,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

If ye would hear the angels sing,
Rise, and spread your Christmas fare;
‘Tis merrier still the more that share,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Rise and bake your Christmas bread:
Christians, rise! the world is bare,
And blank, and dark with want and care,
Yet Christmas comes in the morning.

If ye would hear the angels sing,
Christians! See ye let each door
Stand wider than it e’er stood before,
On Christmas Day in the morning.

Rise, and open wide the door;
Christians, rise! The world is wide,
And many there be that stand outside,
Yet Christmas comes in the morning.

First Lesson

Genesis 3: 8–19

God tells sinful Adam that he has lost the life of Paradise and that his seed will bruise the serpent’s head.

**(Read the Scripture in your Bible, or scroll down to read the Scripture in ESV or KJV.)


“Adam lay ybounden”

(words, 15th century; music by Boris Ord)

Lyrics and lyrics explanation available here.

(The sheet music in this version is not the same as in the video.)

Lyrics of “Adam Lay ybounden”

Adam lay ybounden,
Bounden in a bond;
Four thousand winter,
Thought he not too long.

And all was for an apple,
An apple that he took.
As clerkes finden,
Written in their book.

Ne had the apple taken been,
The apple taken been,
Ne had never our ladie,
Abeen heav’ne queen.

Blessed be the time
That apple taken was,
Therefore we moun singen.
Deo gratias!


“Remember, O Thou Man”

(words, 16th century; music by Thomas Ravenscroft)

Find lyrics and sheet music here.

Lyrics of “Remember, O Thou Man”

Remember, O thou Man,
O thou Man, O thou Man,
Remember, O thou Man,
Thy time is spent.
Remember, O thou Man,
How thou camest to me then,
And I did what I can.
Therefore repent.

The Angels all did sing,
O thou Man, O thou Man,
The Angels all did sing,
On Sion hill.
The Angels all did sing,
Praises to our Heavenly King,
And peace to man living,
With right good will.

To Bethlehem did they go,
O thou Man, O thou Man.
To Bethlehem did they go,
This thing to see.
To Bethlehem did they go,
To see whether it was so,
Whether Christ was born or no,
To set us free.

As the Angels before did say,
O thou Man, O thou Man,
As the Angels before did say.
So it came to pass.
As the Angels before did say.
They found him wrapt in hay
In a manger where he lay.
So poor he was.

Give thanks to God always,
O thou Man, O thou Man,
Give thanks to God always,
With hearts most jolly.
Give thanks to God always,
Upon this blessed day.
Let all men sing and say,
Holy, Holy.


Christmas Lesson & Carols Picture Study:

Use this Picture Study artwork along with your Christmas Lessons & Carols lesson.

Expulsion of Adam and Eve by John Faed (1819-1902), oil on canvas painting circa 1880

public domain

Download a free 2-page Printable Pack to use with this Picture Study for the Christmas Lessons & Carols music lesson:


Notebooking sheet to draw and write about the artwork, Questions to ask while you’re studying the artwork.


**Christmas Lessons & Carols Scripture:

Genesis 3:8-19 in ESV:

8 And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.  9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”  10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.”  11 He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?”  12 The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”  13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life.  15 I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise you head, and you shall bruise his hell.”  16 To the woman he said,  “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. You desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” 17 And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the daysof your life; 18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:8-19 in KJV:

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden. And the LORD God called unto Adam, and said unto him, Where art thou? And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself. And he said, Who told thee that thou wast naked? Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? And the man said, The woman whom thou gavest to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I did eat. And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.

And the LORD God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.

Copyright Permissions: “Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. May not copy or download more than 500 consecutive verses of the ESV Bible or more than one half of any book of the ESV Bible.”


Homeschool Giveaway:

Update–giveaway is completed.

It sure has been a crazy time this year! In efforts to ease financial burdens and help you to further explore your homeschool opportunities, we’re giving you over $500 of homeschool and educational gift cards, printables, and courses! 

December Homeschool Giveaway

Thanks to these amazing bloggers and brands that love supporting the homeschool community, we’re able to give back to a lucky homeschool family in the best way! Hopefully, one of you deserving folks will be blessed by this bundle! 

Inside the giveaway, you’ll find a $125 gift card to Notgrass, $150 gift card to Lakeshore Learning from The Fervent Mama and Thrive at Home, 3 Sessions of the Homeschool Garden Morning Plans, a $50 shopping spree in The WOLFe Pack’s store, Mega Holiday Bundle from In All You Do 7 unit studies in it) + 2 Mommy & Me Journals (Christmas & Easter) + Christmas PreK Pack + Gardening Unit Study ($53.92 value), the Music Lessons for Holidays & Special Days course from Music in Our Homeschool, $50 Gift Card to Orison Orchards shop, the James Little Fishes Bible Study and James Self Study Workbook from 4 One More, and a FREE Grab Bag during the next Digital Grab Bag sale.

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Music Lessons for Holidays and Special Days self-paced online course for elementary students. Learn about some great music associated with holidays throughout the year, plus fun days such as Star Wars Day, Dr. Seuss Day, and Talk Like a Pirate Day!