Christmas in a Snap


Christmas is less than two months away and preparation time for holiday music is quickly diminishing.  Whether you are planning music for a concert, a social gathering or worship, you’ll find the resources below helpful as you choose repertoire.

The collections  feature well-known Christmas carols with the text and  melody line written along with simple chords to be accompanied by handchimes or handbells.  Not only do they avail themselves to almost any ringing ensemble, they are a perfect way to engage your audience this Christmas by having them participate in your program.

Whether you are working with beginning or experiences ringers, these Level 1 arrangements lend themselves to all types of performance possibilities:

  • Solo voice with rung accompaniment
  • Unison Voices with rung accompaniment
  • Bb or C Solo instrument with rung accompaniment
  • Keyboard with rung harmonic accompaniment
  • Combined instrumentation with rung accompaniment

Click the titles below to see sample pages:

Ring & Sing Christmas

12 Christmas carols and 7 secular Christmas songs are presented here as texts paired with simple, chordal, handbell/handchimes accompaniments. Each title is presented in both 2-octave and 3-octave settings. All are in the key most commonly found in hymnals and carol books. The vocal parts can be sung by soloists, choirs, carolers or congregation. The settings may be used alone to accompany group singing or may be added to keyboard-accompanied congregational singing or “sing-alongs.” All the music may be reproduced for use by your choir. 

 Christmas Carol Accompaniments

Christmas Carol Accompaniments, Volume 2

These collections will be an invaluable resource for the Christmas season! They are also a wonderful budget stretcher. With the purchase of these collections, the original purchaser (church, school, or community ensemble) is granted permission to make copies as needed for their choir. The easy accompaniment chords may be played on either handbells or handchimes. The carol melodies may be sung and/or played by an instrument. Sing-along sheets are included, as well as instrumental parts for B-flat and C-treble instruments and C-bass instruments. The accompaniments may be rung with or without keyboard, and a list of harmonically compatible hymnal settings is provided. Suggestions are also included for combing carols into a medley. This flexible collection is ideal for your carol accompaniment needs–whether the melody is sung or played–throughout the holiday season.

The above resources are available on the ChimeWorks website for immediate purchase and digital download

Ring It Now and Ring It Later

As you choose music for Advent and Christmas, consider picking a tune that you might also use later in the year making it appropriate for the liturgical season by merely changing the title.  Allowing this freedom, opens up a new resource to you in strengthening your ensemble.

Mastering a piece that is multi-seasonal helps in a number of ways:

  • If you struggle with rehearsal attendance, this will pare down the time spent on learning notes and allow you and your ringers to focus on musicality.
  • Newer ringers may enjoy the opportunity of playing the piece with more confidence the second time leading to a more worshipful experience.
  • This will benefit your music budget. Who doesn’t love stretching the dollar!

Below are suggestions of titles from ChimeWorks.  All of these titles are written for handbells but are specifically recommended because they work well for handchime ensembles, too.  The titles in bold are as they are published under Handchime Ensembles where they are available for immediate purchase and digital download.


Tune:  Puer Nobis

Advent:  On Jordan’s Bank, the Baptist’s Cry

Epiphany:  What Star Is This, With Beams So Bright

Easter:  That Easter Day With Joy Was Bright  (L1)  2 – 3 Octaves  3 – 5 Octaves


Tune:  Noël Nouvelet

Christmas:  Sing We Now of Christmas

Easter:  Now The Green Blade Rises

General:  Variations On A French Carol (L2)  2 Octaves with Percussion


Tune:  Hyfrydol

General:  Meditation on Hyfrydol  (L3)  3 Octaves

Advent:  Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Easter:  Alleluia! Sing To Jesus

General: Love Divine, All Love Excelling


Tune:  Morning Song or Consolation

Advent:  The King Shall Come  (L2)  2 – 3 Octaves  3 – 5 Octaves

Thanksgiving:  Give Thanks To God Who Hears Our Cry

Morning or Thanksgiving:  Awake, Awake To Love And Work


Tune:  Prospect

Christmas:  The Hills Are Bare At Bethlehem

Pentecost:  The Lone, Wild Bird  (L3)  3 – 5 Octaves with C instrument


Tune:  Duke Street

Ascension:  Jesus Shall Reign (L1)  2 – 3 Octaves  3 – 5 Octaves  2 – 5 Octaves

Easter:  I Know That My Redeemer Lives

General:  Prelude on Duke Street

General (Trust):  Fight The Good Fight

General:  From All That Dwell Below The Skies


Tune:  Afton Water

General:  As Rain From The Clouds (L2)  3 – 5 Octaves with optional harp

Christmas:  Away In A Manger

Christmas: All Wrapped-up in One Collection

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and probably the most important season for ringing choirs – Christmas!  Get ready for the holiday with these budget-friendly collections below that work well for handchime or handbell choirs.

Not only do these collections offer a variety of music to carry you throughout Advent, Christmas and Epiphany, they are a great resource for all directors to have available for developing choirs as well as for more experienced groups needing music they can learn quickly.  Starting at Level 1 through Level 2+, these collections will allow you to be ready for Worship or Concert.  All of the resources can be found on the ChimeWorks website and are available for immediate purchase and digital download.

Come and Adore

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Levels 1 and 1+ This charming collection features easy Advent and Christmas arrangements playable on either handbells or handchimes.  Contents:  Ave Maria; Gentle Mary Laid Her Child (Good King Wenceslas); Go, Tell it on the Mountain; God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen; Jesus, Jesus, Rest Your Head; Long Ago, Prophets Knew (On This Day Earth Shall Ring); Once in Royal David’s City


I heard the Bells on Christmas Day

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Level 2   I Heard the Bells is a collection of seven settings appropriate for Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany including We Gather Together, Prepare the Royal Highway, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Silent Night, Joy to the World, On This Day Earth Shall Ring and We Three Kings.


Celebrate the Season

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves

Level 2 with optional percussion    Go easy on your music budget with this collection for Advent and Christmas which includes eight of Cathy Moklebust’s most popular arrangements for the season: Away in a Manger; Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus; Infant Holy, Infant Lowly; Rejoice! Rejoice! (Rejoice, Rejoice Believers and Oh, Come, Oh, Come Emmanuel); Rise Up, Shepherd, and Follow (There’s a Star in the East); Still, Still, Still; ‘Twas in the Moon of Wintertime; What Is This Lovely Fragrance?


Glad Tidings Ring

3 – 5 Octaves

Levels 2 and 2+   Glad Tidings Ring is a compilation of favorite Advent and Christmas arrangements. This budget-stretching collection features a wonderful variety of seasonal arrangements by six outstanding arrangers: Cynthia Dobrinski; Sandra Eithun; Linda R. Lamb; Kevin McChesney; Anna Laura Page and Margaret R. Tucker.  Titles include:  Earth Shall Ring; He Is Born; Lo! How a Rose; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Rejoice, Rejoice, Believers and Sussex Carol.

Prepare the Way for Advent!

Leaves are falling and soon snowflakes will be, too.  The time has come to begin preparing for Advent and Christmas.  To help make your Advent music search a little easier, ChimeWorks is pleased to recommend the following pieces for the season which will no doubt bring hope, peace and joy to your worshipping congregation.

All are available for immediate purchase and download from


The King Shall Come

Level 2 with optional percussion

 2 -3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves


On Jordan’s Bank the Baptist’s Cry

Level 1

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves


Savior of the Nations, Come

Level 2 with optional percussion

2 – 3 Octaves, 3 – 5 Octaves


Light in the Darkness

Level 2+

3 – 5 Octaves


Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Level 2 with optional flute or violin

3-4 Octaves

Level 2 with optional percussion and keyboard

2- 3 or 5 Octaves


O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Level 2

2 – 3 Octaves


Of the Father’s Love Begotten

Level 1+

2 Octaves


Long Ago, Prophets Knew

Level 1

2 -3 Octaves, 3 – 7 Octaves


Come, Thou Almighty King

Level 2+ with optional percussion

2 -3 Octaves, 3 – 6 Octaves

One, Two…. Who Knew It Would Be This Easy!

So, you’d like to use handchimes in the general music classroom or children’s choir rehearsal but you’re not quite sure where to start?  We have the solution for you!

Start slowly – choose a folk song which you can teach by rote and has a melody that can be harmonized with two chords.  Once the text and melody are learnt, add handchimes in by having your students accompany their singing with chords.

Do this by distributing one handchime to each student and separate the students by chords having the students holding the common pitch stand in the center.  Practice each chord separately.  Then point to group one or two and practice ringing as indicated.

A chord chart indicating the chord by pitch name or color displayed by projector may also be used.  Simply point to the chord at the appropriate time.  This is a great way to begin teaching eye-hand coordination.  Consider putting Malmark’s colored bands on the handchimes to make chord recognition easier.

Begin to practice singing the song along with the chords indicating which chord is to be rung with the text.  If you don’t have enough handchimes to go around add some non-pitched percussion for added rhythm.  In no time, you’ll have music in a snap – of the wrist that is!

Here are some recommended folk songs from the ChimeWorks website that use two chords:

Eency, Weency Spider

Hava Nagila

Hey, Ho! Nobody Home

Hey, Lidee

O, Music, Sweet Music

Rocky Mountain

Six Little Ducks

Skip To My Lou