25 Religious Christmas Songs To Add to Your Holiday Playlist

These religious songs and hymns celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.

Merry Christmas!! With this special time of year comes an influx of mouthwatering meals, heartfelt gifts and feel-good, festive music. And speaking of this seasonal music, we've put together a list of 25 of the best religious Christmas songs!

Whether you're turning on the radio, curating a Spotify playlist, or walking through a mall or restaurant, holly jolly jams seem to be everywhere spreading Christmas cheer. While some of the holiday tunes reference Old Saint Nick, his team of reindeer, and the gorgeous snowflakes falling outside, others go much deeper by focusing on the true meaning of Christmas.

Between lyrics about the little Lord Jesus being born in a manger, to wondering if Mary truly understood exactly how miraculous and world-altering her Savior-son's birth and life would be, to praising God just like the angels did ahead of Christ's birth, these religious Christmas carols and Christmas hymns remind listeners about the real reason for the season!

So, press play and get into the Christmas spirit with this selection of religious Christmas songs!

25 Religious Christmas Songs

1. "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" by Anna Madsen

An earnest tune that anticipates Jesus Christ's arrival, Anna Madsen sings this advent-inspired request in a hauntingly beautiful way.

Related: 50 Religious Christmas Quotes

2. "Little Drummer Boy" by Jennifer Nettles ft. Idina Menzel

Jennifer Nettles and Idina Menzel pa-rum-pum-pum-pumaster this fictional story of a boy who arrived, empty-handed except for his drum, to visit the nativity scene.

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3. "O Holy Night" by Ellie Goulding

"A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices" is one well-known, uplifting lyric from this traditional Christmas song that reminds listeners of the redemption that has come from the Savior's birth.

Related: 25 Christmas Prayers and Blessings

4. "Away in a Manger" by Lauren Daigle

"Away in a Manger" showcases not only the humility of Jesus coming into the world as a baby, but being born in less-than-ideal circumstances—sharing space with animals in a stable.

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5. "Joy To the World" by for KING & COUNTRY

This upbeat anthem celebrates the joy and love that God has brought to the world now that "the Lord is come," explaining that all we must do is "receive [our] King!"

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6. "O Little Town of Bethlehem" by JJ Heller

Written in 1868, this hymn describes how it was not only the town where Jesus was born, but the whole earth, that was positively changed by His coming.

7. "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear" by Josh Groban

Josh Groban's classical vocal style pairs perfectly with this traditional Christmas carol, which focuses on the part of the Christmas story when the angels came down, singing praises to God.

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8. "Angels We Have Heard on High" by Sarah Reeves

The well-known line "Gloria, in excelsis Deo" from this traditional French hymn means "glory be to God on high."

9. "The Prayer" by Danny Gokey and Natalie Grant

Originally released on the Quest For Camelot soundtrack in 1998 (winning a Golden Globe), "The Prayer" has been covered by Christian artists, especially for the holidays, thanks to its classical sound and spiritual lyrics that ask for guidance, grace, and protection.

10. "O Come, All Ye Faithful" by Britt Nicole

Britt Nicole puts a bit of a modern twist on this long-established Christmas carol about getting to Bethlehem to acknowledge and adore Jesus.

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11. "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" by Carrie Underwood

Henry van Dyke originally wrote these lyrics in 1907 as a poem entitled "Hymn of Joy," and with the words set to Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," the song has largely been known by its first line: "Joyful, joyful, we adore thee."

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12. "Silent Night" by Kelly Clarkson ft. Trisha Yearwood and Reba McEntire

With lyrics describing the calm, peaceful evening of Christ's birth, listeners are able to revere the truly sacred setting of the Christmas story.

13. "Do You Hear What I Hear" by Tori Kelly

A beautiful imagining of the night wind, a little lamb, a shepherd boy, a mighty king, and then eventually the people everywhere, acknowledging the miracle of a Child being born to "bring us goodness and light."

14. "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" by Mariah Carey

This truly timeless hymn was written in 1739 and successfully summarizes the result of Jesus coming to the world with the lyrics: "God and sinners reconciled."

15. "The First Noel" by Brett Eldredge

"The First Noel" describes the experience of, and anticipation felt by, the shepherds and the wise men on the night that Jesus was born.

16. "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" by MercyMe

This famous, comforting Christmas carol encourages believers by reminding them to not lose heart! After all, "For Jesus Christ our Saviour / Was born on Christmas Day / To save us all from Satan's pow'r / When we were gone astray."

17. "What Child Is This?" by Tommee Profitt ft. Avril Lavigne

This newer rendition of "What Child Is This?" gives off a dreamy, introspective vibe thanks in part to Avril Lavigne's lulling vocals on lyrics such as, "This, this is Christ the King, whom shepherds guard and angels sing."

18. "Go Tell It on the Mountain" by CeCe Winans

CeCe Winan's powerful performance personifies the instructive nature of these lyrics, declaring boldly and beautifully that "Jesus Christ is born!"

19. "A Christmas Alleluia" by Chris Tomlin ft. Lauren Daigle and Leslie Jordan

Released in 2015, this modern Christmas tune calls for listeners to truly celebrate the significance of the holiday, as "Alleluia" is an exclamation meaning "God be praised!"

Related: 101 of the Best "Merry Christmas" Bible Verses

20. "Mary, Did You Know?" by Mary J. Blige

As this Christmas song addresses Mary, the mother of Jesus, it refers not only to the miraculous birth that took place and how "the Child that you've delivered will soon deliver you," but it also references the many signs and wonders throughout the adult ministry of Jesus such as walking on water, giving sight to a blind man, and more.

21. "I Wonder as I Wander" by Audrey Assad

This contemplative holiday hymn continuously repeats the personal reflection of how extraordinary it is that Jesus came to die for, and to save, all people. Audrey Assad's musing vocals capture the thoughtful amazement perfectly!

22. "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day" by Frank Sinatra

Originally titled "Christmas Bells," this Henry Wadsworth Longfellow poem talks of how the hatred in the world seems to be mocking the message of peace on earth, goodwill to men, and yet how Christmas bells continue to bring with them a renewed, established sense of peace and ultimate hope that prevails against hatred.

23. "Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)" by Jessica Simpson

Originally released in 1992 by Amy Grant, "Breath of Heaven" is narrated from Mary's perspective as she feels overwhelmed by this role she has been given to be the mother of Jesus, but ultimately relies on her strong faith and trust in God's plan and provision to comfort her.

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24. "Who Would Imagine a King?" by Whitney Houston

Part of The Preacher's Wife's soundtrack, this is another Christmas song from Mary's perspective. Within the lyrics, Mary reflects on how all parents wonder who their children will grow up to be, knowing that she is in the singular position of having a Son who is the King of the world.

25. "Ave Maria" by Michael Bublé

A Catholic prayer written and sung in Latin, "Ave Maria" translated is addressed to Mary (the "Hail Mary"), saying how blessed she is and how the fruit of her womb is blessed as well.

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