An Arabic Christmas Carol

I have discovered a lovely and fascinating video which combines a Byzantine era Christmas song in arabic, with beautiful images. The english translation is included.

It is easy to forget that there are devout followers of Christ found throughout all nationalities and cultures. This arabic chant describes Jesus Christ’s nativity, and has been preserved by the Christians of the Middle East who continue to bear witness of the Savior’s birth in their land. Although this style of music is not familiar to our western ear, it is most likely that a similar melody was lullaby to the infant Jesus. I encourage you to let it wrap around your heart, as you enjoy this visual treat.

“Arabic Nativity Hymn”
Chanted by: Reader Nader Hajjar, Ottawa Canada.
Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Arabic Christmas Carol“, posted with vodpod


  1. This is not “a christmas song”. This is the Kontakion of the Christmas services of the Orthodox Church. These are not “songs” but rather liturgical chants chanted during the Vespers and Divine Liturgies of the Orthodox Church. They utilize ancient melismas with a constant pedal tone in the background called the “ison”. These found their origin in the original Greek and were developed from the 3rd century onward. These are original forms of Christian worship, which, unfortunately are totally foreign and unknown to average Americans but are preserved since the time of the ancient church within the Orthodox Church. This form is usually found in the Antiochian Orthodox parishes throughout the world. Similar forms would be found in the Orthodox Churches where Greek is the Liturgical Language. Orthodox Churches in Eastern Europe and Russia/Ukraine, adopted the more grandiose choral forms taken from western choral traditions as imported to the church by Peter the Great. Yes. All of this christian tradition antedates anything in this country by hundreds and hundreds of years. It’s wonderful that American Christians now have an opportunity to discover original and historic christian worship from the place where Christ was born and Christianity originated.


    1. Allan, thank you so much for enlightening us with the historic musical background of this piece. I am very grateful we have the opportunity to hear this beautiful and ancient chant. Merry Christmas! -MoSop


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