Why do Christmas carols make the church feel nervous?
Some Christmas songs have origins that go back to pagan times - family favourite The Holly and the Ivy probably sprang from ritual fertility dances and singing games
10:35AM GMT 19 Nov 2014
Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the sound of carols, but we often forget that in centuries past it made the Christian church feel slightly uncomfortable. In the early thirteenth century, St Francis wrote some hymns on the theme of the nativity which were decorously sung as part of the liturgy, but the more rumbustious musical celebration of Christmas has always taken place as much outside church as inside it.