"What Child is This" is a beautiful and meditative arrangement for Handchimes (or Handbells if chimes are not available), folk guitar, a soloist, an ensemble of singers, piano and violin (or flute). When I first starting working on this arrangement, I wanted to involve musicians from our contemporary worship service as well as the traditional service to sing on Christmas Eve. The instrumentation started with handchimes, folk guitar and voices. As the setting evolved, I added piano and violin to the instrumentation. None of the individual parts is too difficult for the average musician.
When we presented the piece, the Chime team sang on the last verse. If you are feeling ambitious, as we were, the vocal part to at one point breaks into part of a short section. The chime score available with the download includes the singing parts. If you opt to use a separate choir, you will need to make extra copies of the chime score for your choir.
In addition to cleverly setting the tune Greensleeves, the listener might find themselves humming ""Lo, A Rose E're blooming"" at the conclusion as snippets of this tune, too are cleverly weaved throughout the arrangement.
In addition to the standard verses of the Christmas Carol, an additional verse is added so that it would also be an excellent choice during communion.
O Lamb of God, Lord Jesus Christ, whom God the Father gave us, Who for the world was sacrificed upon the cross to save us. Alleluia! Laud Him. The silent Word is pleading. This, this is Christ the King, the Babe, the Son of Mary.