Klopfelsingen–Caroling in Oberammergau
In Oberammergau, the Alpine Village in which I set Saving Amelie, the Thursday before Christmas is known as Klopfelsingen–when children and adults go caroling from house to house. A longstanding Alpine tradition, Klopfelsingen is a pre-Christmas parallel to Sternsingen, or Star singers, in January.
The carols sung before Christmas focus on Advent as a time of preparation, and on the importance of charity.
Christmas carols, whether sung during worship services at church, with children visiting a nursing home, in clusters walking through the frosty night from house to house, or at home, warm with family and friends, are a longstanding tradition in my life, too.
My favorite carol, since I was fourteen, is “O, Holy Night.” So full of wonder and deeply reverent! I remember for my fourteenth birthday (which falls during Advent), my Uncle Wilbur, a D.J. at the time, promised to play it for me on the radio if he could work it into the schedule. I remember rushing home from school, waiting eagerly by my transistor radio for what seemed hours. Finally, with no ostentation, those notes and words poured through my handheld box! What a wonder! What a birthday gift!
The carols of Christmas grow ever more dear to me, and I’m delighted when others share their favorites. My grandmother’s favorite carol was “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.” My mother’s favorite carol is “Mary, Did You Know?” My daughter’s favorite carol is “Do You Hear What I Hear?” I’m eager to learn my granddaughter’s favorite as she grows.
I often wonder what speaks to people in the words of hymns–those from Christmas or any other time.
What is your favorite carol? What makes it special for you?
Praying you’ll be blessed with all the music of this Holy Season,