Advent music: what’s your favorite?

Today I got to share our Waiting in the Word Advent Study on Relevant Radio’s Morning Air! (Here’s the link to the show if you missed it – I’m on for the 1st half hour.)

As part of our conversation about preparing for the season of Advent, I mentioned that a few years ago, I decided to make some Advent CDs for our family.

One benefit of having fellow theological nerds on Facebook is that when I asked for favorite Advent hymns, I was flooded with suggestions from liturgist friends from graduate school. I took their advice to heart, grabbed a bunch of tracks from iTunes, and voila – an instant Advent album for our family!

Advent has such beautiful hymns that can get lost in the endless blaring of “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Winter Wonderland.” So I’m always looking for new ways to keep Advent music alive in our home (and car drives).

In the past few years we’ve added a few favorite albums to our Advent collection. The kids love “Gentle Night” from the St. Louis Jesuits, especially the track where the children’s choir sings. But I’d love to hear your favorites so we can expand our selections.

The radio hosts asked me to share our Advent music playlist, so here it is for your inspiration!

Share any I missed in comments and help me build Volume Two?

I added examples of each track in case you’re unfamiliar with the hymn – not necessarily the exact versions we have, but a place to start!

  1. People, Look East 
  2. Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
  3. O Come, O Come Emmanuel
  4. Each Winter as the Year Grows Older
  5. Lo! He Comes With Clouds Descending
  6. My Soul in Stillness Waits
  7. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
  8. Creator of the Stars of Night
  9. Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence
  10. The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came
  11. No Wind at the Window
  12. Holy is Your Name
  13. Cherry Tree Carol
  14. Lo How A Rose E’er Blooming

What I love about our eclectic mix is that it’s got medieval chant and cathedral choirs, but also folk guitar and hipster tracks (did you know Sufjan Stevens did a whole Christmas album?!). The variety sparks the kids’ interest whenever we listen – and embodies the beauty of our Church in vivid colors, too.

If you’re new to Mothering Spirit from Relevant Radio, welcome! Here are links to what we talked about this morning:

Can’t wait to hear your Advent favorites!


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6 thoughts on “Advent music: what’s your favorite?

  1. I love “People Look East,” but my current church never sings it! My church also sings “Beyond the Moon and Stars” a lot during Advent which I like too… and a “Come, Come Emanuel” that’s really fast? Different than the normal version, but really pretty and fun to sing.

  2. The Brilliance have two Advent CDs and their sound is, well, brilliant 🙂 I heard them perform at our Church’s candlelight Advent Masses a couple of years back. “A Light,” “Hope,” “May You Find a Light”…all beautiful and so appropriate for Advent.

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