Editor’s Pick of Christmas Videos

The fast-free period between the feast of the Nativity of Christ and the day before the feast of Theophany, also known as Christmastide, is time to festively, joyfully savor the great mystery of Christ’s coming to Earth as a little Child for the salvation of humankind, waiting and longing for its Savior. Every Christian nation has its own unique way of glorifying Christ at this sacred time of the year, and their glorying lives on to our own time.

Just as in Medieval Europe the people gathered to hear the Christmas madrigals, we can also enjoy Christmastime song and watch how different cultures celebrate the birth of Christ. Here is a sampling of Christmas videos from around the world, to make the Christmas spirit linger with our readers.

Let’s begin with a Byzantine hymn in Arabic, from the land were Jesus was born.

Travelling on to Byzantium, let’s listen to the odes sung at the end of each set of hymns sung in the canon to the Nativity of the Lord. The music is Byzantine chant, but sung in English.

The Greeks also have their own Christmas songs and folk traditions. Here is a traditional Christmas “carol” in Greek dating from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries. See the lyrics below.

In Greek:

Βυζαντινά κάλαντα.

Ἄναρχος Θεὸς καταβέβηκεν καὶ ἐν τῇ Παρθένῳ κατώκησε
ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρερου-ἐρουρεμ, Χαῖρε Ἄχραντε.
Βασιλεὺς τῶν ὅλων καὶ Κύριος, ἦλθες τὸν Ἀδὰμ ἀναπλάσασθαι.
ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρερου-ἐρουρεμ, Χαῖρε Ἄχραντε.
Γηγενεῖς σκιρτᾶτε καὶ χαίρετε, τάξεις τῶν ἀγγέλων εὐφραίνονται
ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρερου-ἐρουρεμ, Χαῖρε Ἄχραντε.
Δεῦτε ἐν σπηλαίῳ κατείδομεν, κείμενον ἐν φάτνῃ, τὸν Κύριον
ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρερουρεμ, Χαῖρε Δέσποινα.
Ἐξ ἀνατολῶν μάγοι ἔρχονται δῶρα προσκομίζουσιν ἄξια
ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρεμ-ἐρουρερουρεμ, Χαῖρε Δέσποινα.
Ἤκουσεν Ἡρώδης τὸ μήνυμα κι ὅλος ἐταράχθη ὁ δόλιος
τεριριριρεμ-τεριριριρεμ-τεμ καὶ ἀνανες, Χαῖρε Ἄχραντε.
Θεόδρομον ἄστρον θεώμενοι, μάγοι τῶν Περσῶν ἐξεκίνησαν
τεριριριρεμ-τεριριριρεμ-τεμ καὶ ἀνανες, Χαῖρε Ἄχραντε.
Κάκωσιν προστάξας ὁ τύραννος, τῆς Ραχήλ τὰ τέκνα κατέσφαξεν
τεριριριρεμ-τεριριριρεμ-τεμ καὶ ἀνανες, Χαῖρε Ἄχραντε.

English translation:

The God who is without beginning has descendeth and dwelt in the Virgin
Eroorem-eroorem-eroorerooh-eroorem, rejoice 0 spotless one.
Thou art the King of all and the Lord, Thou came to refashion Adam,
Eroorem-eroorem-eroorerooh-eroorem, rejoice 0 spotless one.
Ye mortals rejoice and be glad, ye angelic hosts jubilate,
Eroorem-eroorem-eroorerooh-eroorem, rejoice 0 spotless one.
Come hither to see in the cave, laying in the manger, the Lord
Eroorem-eroorem-erooreroorem, rejoice 0 Sovereign Lady.
Magi from the East are coming, bearing noble gifts
Eroorem-eroorem-erooreroorem, rejoice 0 Sovereign Lady.
Herod heard the news and trembled with fury the godless one
Teriririrem-teriririrem-tem and ananes, rejoice 0 spotless one.
Following an unexpected course, the magi from Persia came
Teriririrem-teriririrem-tem and ananes, rejoice 0 spotless one.
Out of wickedness, the tyrant ordered the slaughter of all Rachel's children
Teriririrem-teriririrem-tem and ananes, rejoice 0 spotless one.


Journeying upward to Georgia, where Christianity was received in as early as the fourth century from saint Nino, sent by the Mother of God to enlighten the land designated to Her by lot. This video shows the Georgian “Alilo”, or “Alleluia” Christmas celebration.

Now let’s move into the Slavic lands. Here is a touching video showing a Serbian Christmas, family tradition, complete with the “kolach” bread, and Christmas bonfire.

Continuing our journeying north to Russia, we have a real musical treat from the Russian folklore choir, Sirin. This wonderful group has made it the work of their lives to collect and sing ancient polyphonic Russian religious music. This video celebrates Christmas with the song, “Slava Vyshnykh Bogu”, or “Glory to God in the Highest”. If we find a video of this with better resolution, we’ll replace it, but for now, enjoy the remarkable choir!

The quintessential Slavic Christmas carols, or “kolyadi”, are actually Ukrainian, where the Western tradition of caroling at Christmastide took root under Polish rule. Ukrainian carols are very distinct, and very lovely. This video contains clips from the popular 1961 Soviet film, “Evenings on a Farm Near Dikanka” (from the film based on Nicholai Gogol’s tale, “The Night Before Christmas” by director Alexander Rou), with the kolyadi performed by Ivan Kozlovski (1947) superimposed.

Now let’s travel in time and space to Medieval England. Please savor this haunting fourteenth century English madrigal, “Als I Lay on Yoolis Night”.

Our final editor’s pick is a three-part series by the BBC on Christmas in modern Wales. How comforting it is to see these traditions kept alive by Welsh Christians.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

We hope you have enjoyed this small selection of Christmas videos, glorifying the birth of Christ in a variety of languages and cultures.

Christ is Born! Glorify Him!


Olga1/11/2015 4:00 am
Video which accompanies Ukranian carol is not very appropriate for Christian site---Young Ukranian girl seeing a young man she loves instead of Christ on the icon, then so called religious cartoon about Christmas--- to me it mocks Christmas-- just because it is about Christmas and won prizes-- does not mean it is good and respectful to sacral subjects.
otherwise -- thank you for an effort for putting a nice collection of videos .
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