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The term carol finds its origin in the French carole, a round dance in which the singers provide their own music by singing a refrain after uniform stanzas sung by a soloist. English medieval carols are poetic works in a similar form. Carols appear in a pattern of uniform stanzas, each with a burden, or refrain. The carol, "Nova, nova" (Hymn 266 in The Hymnal 1982) is an example of this early form of an English carol. See also Hymns 109, 110, and 192 in The Hymnal 1982. 

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.
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