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Word Wisdom: Noel

The latest inspirational column from Rev. Dr. John Kreutzwieser
Word Wisdom

The first Noel, the Angels did say, was to certain poor shepherds in fields as they lay.

In fields where they lay keeping their sheep on a cold winter's night that was so deep.

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel, born is the King of Israel! 

Noel, Noel, Noel, Noel

The word Noel is of French origin, stemming from the Latin natalis, meaning birthday or, as an adjective, relating to birth. Noel was transferred into English usage in the 1800s. When Noel is capitalized, it equates to Christmas. Noel has been in use in France since the 15th century. Noel is also used for Christmas carols, as “the choir sang noels.” 

Christmas was observed in the early days of Canada by French colonists gathering to attend midnight mass on December 24 and singing Chantons Noé, an old French Christmas carol. As they sang a Christ Child figure was processed into the assembly and laid in a crèche. The crèche is a tableau of Christ’s birth, also known as a Nativity scene.

Here are a few more Canadiana things of Noels.

Did you know that the movie A Christmas Story (my wife’s favourite Christmas video) has Canadian connections? Various scenes were shot in Canada. Ralphie’s school, the Chinese restaurant where his family eats Christmas dinner, the famous swearing scene, as well as the interior segments were all shot in Canada. And where else would you find the old TTC “red rocket” streetcars? Happy Noel!

Did you know that according to Turkey Farmers of Canada, Canadians purchased a 2.9-million whole turkeys for Christmas 2020? That amounts to 41 per cent of all turkeys sold that year. Blessed Noel!

Did you know that Government House in Regina has windows and doorways swagged in lush garlands, festooned with holly berries, and twinkling lights for the Christmas season? The grandeur of the season can be seen, in 17 trees, 25 window sprays, 62 wreaths, 100 poinsettias, more than 450 feet of garland and thousands of lights. Joyous Noel!

Did you know that Readers Digest has listed Saskatoon in the rank of 7th of Canadian places to visit for Christmas? A recent study by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management found that Saskatoon has the highest number of candy and toy stores, per capita, in the country. Exultant Noel!

Sing Noel, sing Noel, sing Noel for Christ our Savior.

Sing Noel, shepherds on the hillside, wise men from afar, celebrate the coming of our Lord.

What a tiny stable, what a wondrous star, unto us a Child is given, unto us a Savior's born.    

Sing Noel to all in heaven, sing Noel to all the earth, sing Noel for

Christ our Savior, sing Noel!

Sing Noel, all of creation, sing Noel, celebrate His birth, sing Noel for Christ our Savior, sing Noel!

Angels we have heard on high, sweetly singing o’er the plains, and the mountains in reply, echoing their joyous strains. Gloria in excelsis Deo; Gloria in excelsis Deo.

It came upon the midnight clear, that glorious song of old, from angels bending near the earth to touch their harps of gold: “Peace on the earth, goodwill to all, from heaven's all-gracious king.” The world is solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.

Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king; peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled.” Joyful, all you nations, rise; join the triumph of the skies; with angelic hosts proclaim, “Christ is born in Bethlehem!” Hark! The herald angels sing, “Glory to the newborn king!”

Sing we all Noel, hear the music all around. Sing we all Noel, let the joy resound. Noel, noel, noel, let our voices rise as we sing a song of praise and lift our music to the skies. Noel, noel, noel, sing it loud and clear so that all on earth may know our joy this season of the year.        

Sing we all Noel, with a joyous roundelay. Sing we all Noel, hear the news today.

Columnist John Kreutzwieser loves to research words and writes this weekly Word Wisdom column for Moose Jaw Express/  He has an interest in the usage, origin, and relevance of words for society today. Greek and Latin form the basis of many words, with ancient Hebrew shedding light on word usage.

John would like to know if anyone has a sincere interest in a relevant word that he could possibly research for an upcoming column. If so, please send your requests to . Words will be selected according to relevance and research criteria. We cannot confirm that all words will be used.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of this publication.