25 best religious Christmas songs

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When it comes to Christmas music, there are so many amazing songs. From classic Christmas carols that air nonstop on the radio to country Christmas songs with so much heart that they make you cry, there is a holiday tune for absolutely any occasion and mood. Are you feeling happy? “Jingle Bells”, that’s it! Want to call home? “There is no place like home for the holidays” strikes it right. But when you reflect on what Christmas really is, Christmas religious songs capture the peace, love, and joy of the season like no other genre.

Traditional Christmas hymns, from classics like “O Little Town of Bethlehem” to “Angels We Have Heard on High” by Josh Groban, tell Christmas stories from the Bible and remind us to reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. When performed by artists like Nat King Cole and Josh Groban, we cannot help but be moved by the lyrics and music of Christian Christmas carols. Contemporary mixes from bands like Pentatonix (see “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” on our list) bring a modern twist to Christmas carols that all ages will hum. And Carrie Underwood’s epic rendition of “The First Noel” is sure to bring the cold bumps!

Whether you’re tackling your daily commute (read: need catchy holiday songs, pronto !!) the best Christmas carols.

1

Jamie Cullum’s “In the Dark Midwinter”

This unique arrangement of Jamie Cullum’s “In the Bleak Midwinter” is to be heard over and over again and is proof that this poetic and poignant hymn should indeed be more mainstream. The words set the scene for the birth of Jesus Christ: “Our God, heaven cannot hold him back / Neither the earth supports him / Heaven and earth will flee / When he comes to reign / In the dark environment of winter / A stable place was enough / The Lord God Almighty – Jesus Christ. “

2

“We the Three Kings” by Dolly Parton

Dolly Parton’s crisp, clear voice gently tells the story of the three wise men who traveled to visit the newborn Jesus as they yearn for the star to “guide us to your perfect light.”

3

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Vince Guaraldi Trio

You can’t help but sing along with the perfectly imperfect vocals on this nostalgic track by A Charlie Brown Christmas.

4

“Mary’s little boy” by Harry Belafonte

Harry Belafonte’s song has sold millions of copies since its release in 1956 on his album, An evening with Belafonte.

5

“I Wonder While Wandering” by Harry Connick Jr.

This Christian folk hymn has been repeated several times, but Harry Connick Jr.’s version can’t be beat.

6

“He Came on a Midnight Clear” by Norah Jones

Norah Jones gives this Christmas carol, which dates back to an 1849 poem by Edmund Sears, a refreshing jazzy touch.

7

“The Angels We Heard Above” by Josh Groban

This Christmas song dates back to the mid-1800s and is based on the melody of the hymn “Gloria”. Josh Groban’s cover is suitably angelic.

8

Sarah McLachlan’s “Away in a Manger”

Sarah McLachlan covered this famous Christmas song on her second Christmas album Wonderland, which she released in 2016.

9

“O little town of Bethlehem” by Nat King Cole

This Christmas song about the birthplace of Jesus Christ was written over 150 years ago by Phillips Brooks, an Episcopal priest who visited Bethlehem on Christmas Eve. But Nat King Cole’s iconic voice will make him a favorite forever.

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“God Rest Merry Gentlemen” by Pentatonix

The quirky styles of Pentatonix are a vacation staple these days. Here the band adds a modern twist to this traditional melody, also known as “Tidings of Comfort and Joy”.

11

“The First Christmas” by Carrie Underwood

There are so many versions of this Christian Christmas song out there, but Carrie Underwood’s beautiful country rendition is one of our favorites.

12

“Ave Maria” by Michael Bublé

The unofficial King of Christmas, aka Michael Bublé, lent his well-known voice to this religious tune that is worth listening to anytime of the year.

13

“O come, O come Emmanuel” by Lauren Daigle

You will be more than impressed with artist Lauren Daigle’s version of this religious Christmas classic.

14

“Hallelujah” by Jeff Buckley

Jeff Buckley’s famous interpretation of Alleluia will never get old. We suggest you add this one to your reading list year round.

15

“The Little Drummer (Peace on Earth)” by Bing Crosby and David Bowie

Musical legends Bing Crosby and David Bowie have created this surprising holiday mash-up that is sure to become a regular on your holiday playlists.

16

Pentatonix “Silent Night”

All of the a cappella group Pentatonix’s reimagined take on Christmas carols are amazing, but this one could be one of the best.

17

“The Joy of the World” by Jeremy Riddle

This live performance of “Joy to the World” by songwriter and pastor Jeremy Riddle brings an upbeat and inspiring sound to this holiday classic.

18

“Do you hear what I hear? By Whitney Houston

This famous Christmas hit, written by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker in 1962, sounds even better when sung by Whitney Houston.

19

“What a kid is this” by Brad Paisley

Brad Paisley adds a country touch (with his guitar and vocals) to this religious Christmas song written in 1865.

20

“Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” by Celtic Woman

This all-female Irish music group will amaze you with their interpretation of this tune that welcomes Jesus into the world.

21

Celine Dion’s “O Come All Ye Faithful”

This popular anthem has been performed by church choirs around the world, but we especially love Celine Dion’s updated version.

22

Chris Tomlin’s “He Will Rule Forever”

This track from Chris Tomlin’s second Christmas album is filled with contemporary praise songs like this.

23

“O Holy Night” by Mariah Carey

If you are a fan of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” from Mariah Carey’s 1994 holiday album, you will be addicted to her powerful version of this meaningful song.

24

“Mary did you know?” by Pentatonix

This popular Christmas song is written from the unique perspective of Mary, the mother of Jesus.

25

Sara Evans’ “Go Say It On The Mountain”

This anthem has a rich history as a rallying cry in the civil rights movement and has since become a Christmas classic.

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