A song for Christmas Eve—O Holy Night. This carol was written in 1847 by a French wine merchant, Placide Cappeau, and set to music in 1855 by John Sullivan Dwight. The third verse is my favorite, and very timely as we head into a very uncertain 2017 with so much hatred and and sabre-rattling. This, after all, is at the heart of Christmas: “Truly He taught us to love one another, his law is love and his Gospel is peace. Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother, and in His name all oppression shall cease.”

The version that I chose is from Jon Anderson’s 3 Ships album from 1985, which has been in my Christmas rotation since my oldest brother introduced it to me way back then. Jon is joined by Sandra Crouch for the third, and powerful, verse.