In a secular society, are Carols by Candlelight hypocritical? In this markedly irreligious society, are most folk attending such events complete hypocrites? Should the religious carols be eliminated in favour of secular ones?
No, I don't think it's hypocritical. Carol singing can be enjoyed as a get together and sing along. Traditional carols are a part of our culture and that has value even if you don't subscribe to the religious beliefs behind them. I want my kids to know traditional songs and stories, and what they mean to Christians I will teach them what we believe and where those beliefs differ.
However, there is definitely an argument to be made for secular carols, since some people consider encouraging children to sing religious songs to be indoctrinating them into that religion. Personally that's not something I feel strongly aout as long as it's not compulsory.
Yes, you wouldn't understand the references in tonnes of other works if you aren't aware of at least some Bible stories. It's in everything from Shakespeare to Doctor Who. Ditto for the Greek and Norse myths and Arthurian stories.
Just because someone lives in a secular society does not mean they don't have faith themselves. It seems wrong to get rid of carols just because a majority of people are not religious. In all likelyhood the people who sing in choirs and listen to choirs are probably Christian. If you're not Christian, simply don't go. There's no reason to ruin it for others.
It doesn't really matter what is sung, it's more for the family experience. Is Santa real? No, but we still sing the songs. Even if one is not religious, they can take the religious songs as just another story. I would not like it if the religious songs were removed because then we lose the REAL meaning of Christmas, however if they are removed, then the santa songs should be removed too for the same reason.....in other words... leave things as they are.
As long as its Christmas carols then Carols by candle light style events are appropriate. Just lets not forget to include carols about Christmas (the birth of Jesus Christ) not just Santa and in my case quite foreign concepts such as snow and reindeer.