As well as the songs listed below, you may wish to sing a more "general" Advent type song. Here is a list of general Advent suggestions.
One will come to prepare a way; One who purifies will come. See suggestions for Gospel readings below.
MV11 /StS007 / GC(II)338 Come, come Emmanuel / Advent gathering song (Chepponis) The simple chant is quite lovely, and the cantor soars beautifully. It could be quite formal if you like. Can work as a chant without the cantor part; you could choose particular cantor verses for each week, or even make up your own, which is what we did last year at Brunswick. At other times of year it can be used with the Cantor for confession. There is a sound and sheet music sample here (search for Advent gathering song), but it is about half the speed that we sung it last year.
W&R374 / Srce573 Purify My Heart / Refiner's fire (Doerksen) This song is not really a style that I like much; a little bit too individualistic and hand-wavy for me personally, but I think that it would be a perfect fit for this reading. For people like me, I think that using just the first four lines would make a beautiful reflective chant for personal purity "Purify my heart, Let me be as gold and precious silver, Purify my heart Let me be as gold, pure gold". Not sure if the reading is about personal purity so much as communal purity, but I digress... lyrics, video
Tune In / NCYC '07: Forgive us now (Brown). “As we forgive may we be healed, as we reach out….” An excellent ballad about healing and forgiveness for a whole community. Lyrics and sound sample.
TiS 712 / AoV2-021 / ATE 269 / The tide has turned songbook Create in us a clean heart O God (Hannah) Good. A big favourite in our congregation.
StJ / GA432 / GC800 / GC(II)800 O Breathe on Me O Breath of God (Murray) Good words seeking the spirits gifts of new life, purity and unity with Christ. Sung to a lovely simple, and quite intuitive Celtic tune (COLUMCILLE). Sheet music, sound sample and lyrics (search for "O Breathe On Me")
AoV1-143 Light Of Christ, light flaming bright (Zaragoza) Simple chant. "Light of Christ, light flaming bright, burn in my heart holy fire"; you could easily make this plural if you wish.
AoV2-164 / GA475 / G(II)327 / GC467 / GC(II)477 Send down the fire of your justice (Haugen) This one is usually sung near Pentecost, but I think it could work quite well with this reading too, particularly if your congregation already knows it. Lyrics, sound and sheet music sample (search for "Send down").
Recorded music: Over the Rhine: The Trumpet Child (from the album The Trumpet Child). We used this song a fair bit last Advent. For those who have not heard it, it's really worth a couple of listens. You can watch a video and read lyrics of the song here.
Song of Zechariah. See also suggestions for final gospel reading, below.
Tune in: Jesus is waiting. An honest catchy rock song about our hesitation to follow and Jesus not only waiting, but continuing to work and change the world. A good sending-out song. Sound sample, lyrics and songbook available here.
Iona (M&G) / CH359 / StJ / TF37 / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love (Traditional Cameroons) A simple, repetitive song. Make sure you sing the triplets or it gets boring. Great for kids and for some drumming, too. Sound sample, sheet music (search for "He Came Down")
TiS 688 Come to be our hope O Jesus (Marachin) This is a really fun Latin American song from the World Council of Churches Assembly in Canberra. It's not easy the first time, but once you've heard it, it's very catchy. The words are really excellent, despite a slightly clunky translation. It would be worth teaching to your congregation!
NCH110 / G(II)561 / GC775 / GC(II)5 Now bless the God of Israel who comes in love and power (Duck) Excellent words of salvation and sung to the familiar tune FOREST GREEN. Lyrics (search for "now bless")
VU901 / HPSS601 Blest be the God of Israel (Song of Zechariah) (Daw) A simple and inclusive paraphrase to the well-known hymn tune KINGSFOLD (TiS 262). Lyrics and tune sample.
AoV2-089 / Taize / MV086 / SFFS 2156 Give peace to every heart / Da Pacem Cordium (Berthier) A good, simple Taize chant. Sound samples, sheet music (not cantor lines though).
See suggestions for Malachi reading above.
ATOK 320 / NCH351 / VU645 / StJ / WoV770 / ELW732 / SFFS 2051 / HPP516 / W&R680/ Cha75 I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry (Ylvisaker) A song of God’s presence in all stages of life. Very simple tune to sing. Lyrics, and a slow sound sample.
CH159 / CP(E) 81 / W&R70 / Srce439 Lord for the years your love has kept and guided (Dudley-Smith) Very traditional, but good words. Some lack of inclusive language that could easily be fixed. Sung to a well-known hymn tune (O PERFECT LOVE). Lyrics and sound sample.
TiS 217 / AHB 148 / NCH43 / CH519 / UMH384 / VU333 / LBW315 / ELW631 / GA463 / HPP48 / HPSS376 / GC622 / GC(II)613 / CP485/6 / CP(E) 516 / W&R358 / Cha517 / Srce457 Love divine all loves excelling A beautiful classic song and most hymnals use a very inclusive version of this hymn, even the AHB! Lyrics and sound sample.
AoV2-055 / G(II)513 / GC711 / GC(II)716 May we find richness / Harvest of Justice Simple to sing, and good words. Sample sheet music, lyrics and a plodding tune sample.
John the Baptist. I love the start of Luke's version of this story. It's like "Here's all these important men, but the word of God came to this ordinary guy out in the wilderness".
TiS 647 / AoV2-012 / ATN 25 Comfort comfort all my people (Mann) This is one of my all time favourite songs. Easy to sing, beautiful lyrics. Chorus is“Comfort, comfort all my people, with the comfort of my word. Speak ye tender to my people, all your sins are taken away”. It’s largely a paraphrase of this passage and well worth looking at if you are not familiar with it. Lyrics here, mp3 sample here.
TiS 270 / AHB 199 / NCH115 / CH334 / VU20 / LBW548 / ELW842 / HPPS010 / G(II)260 / GC321 / 322 / GC(II)344 / CP103 / CP(E) 34 / W&R156 On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry. If you would like inclusive lyrics (and who wouldn’t!), have a look at the New Century Hymnal’s version. If you’d like a groovy tune, check out AHB 199(ii) / GC322 – ST JOHN BAPTIST by Gary Lewis Miles and Betty Pulkingham. This is an excellent, fun tune. You can even combine the words of NCH115 with AHB199(ii) for the best of both worlds. But WINCHESTER NEW is also very good, and easy to sing if you don’t have a congregation full of people who grew up in the 60s and 70s. Lyrics and tune sample (Winchester New).
Seeds of Faith Prepare the Way For Love (Bruxvoort-Colligan). A good song for kids. Sound sample and lyrics here
Online resource: Prepare, prepare the way of the Lord (Kleinheksel). A simple round, particularly appropriate for kids. Adults mind find it a bit simple, but it’s quite effective. Worth a look. Available here.
UMH207 / VU10 / StS014 / GC336 / GC(II)330 / W&R174 / Cha121 Prepare the way of the Lord (Berthier) A lovely simple round. Great for kids. Sound sample, lyrics, sheet music (search for Prepare the way of the Lord).
Online resource: Down by the Jordan (Winfrey-Gillette). Good inclusive words to the familiar tune LOBE DEN HERREN. Available here.
Taize / UMH207 / VU10 / StS014 / GC336 / GC(II)330 Prepare the way of the Lord (Berthier) A lovely simple round. Sheet music and sound sample here.
TiS 447 / AHB 61 / CP(E) 267 Lord your almighty word chaos and darkness heard (Marriott) A well known Trinitarian hymn which generally fits this reading; each verse ends with "Let there be light!". Lyrics here.
TiS 288 / Iona Not the powerful not the privileged (Bell) Note that the lyrics are masculine for God in one instance in the 4th verse. The lyrics are great though, so perhaps balance this song with some feminine imagery elsewhere in the service! The tune is not difficult. Lyrics.
AoVK-50 / ATW 430 Come let us praise our God / A voice is heard (Trisha Watts) Excellent and energetic.
Tune In: Dare to Dream. A great song about having a vision for the future, being lead by the light of Bethlehem’s star. If you don’t have a copy of Tune In yet, there’s time to get it before Advent! Sorry about that shameless promotion there.... Sound sample and lyrics here.