The word Carol once meant to dance in a ring and as such came into use to describe song that is also religious in impulse, not necessarily connected with Christmas. Evidence of these origins can be seen from Gaudete (meaning Rejoice) to Tomorrow shall be my dancing day, each contribution through the ages revealing its views of the majesty and beauty of the story of Christmas. Britten's Ceremony of Carols forms the central part of this recording binding together strands of modern thinking, ancient melody (plainsong from the Vespers of the Nativity) and folksong through the old modes. Additionally, through Baroque and Victorian music, we discover that the very concept of Christmas undergoes constant reinterpretation and that this is reflected in the music of the time. It is hoped that the listener will find something new or revealing in this recording and that they will rejoice at Christmastide.