Thursday, October 27, 2011

General Advent Songs and Hymns (Updated for 2014)

Advent Candle-lighting songs and other songs you make like to start looking at as you think about Advent… Updated November 2013. I will keep adding to these as the weeks go by, so check back from time to time. There will also songs for each week of Advent 2013- see the panel on the right hand side for links as they are updated.

A specific song for blessing the Christmas Bowl
BUC*Online Resource An empty bowl, uplifted hands (Faser) Good words for just before the start of Advent, when the Christmas Bowl is blessed, ready for contributions during the Advent season. Sung to the tune WINCHESTER NEW. Lyrics.

Specific Candle-Lighting songs
*Online Resource Light a candle bright and tall (Wood) Excellent words to the tune for "As with Gladness"; a new verse for each week and one for Christmas day. I'm thinking we might sing this at home when we light our candles! Lyrics and free sheet music.  Good for older kids.
BUC*CH284 / StS015 Hope is a candle once lit by the prophets (Leach) Excellent words for candle lighting, including a verse for each candle and one for Christmas Day. Sung to a nice Scottish folk tune (GALLOWAY TAM). Lyrics (downloads a Word document)
BUC*Online Resource Shine a candle (Graham) A simple and quite lovely song that could be sung each week of Advent. Free sheet music and notes for bringing the song to life
Online Resource Be still and know (adapted) An adaptation of the old familiar tune (ATN9) with a verse for each week. Lyrics sheet
BUC*Iona (M&G) / CH359 / MV033 / ZSS54 / StJ / GtG127 / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love/ Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) The translation in "More Voices" (Jesus came bringing...) seems particularly appropriate for Advent and it could easily work as an Advent Candle lighting song. Just sing hope, love, peace or joy, depending on the week. Would be more exciting and energetic with some African drums, rather than a quiet reflective candle lighting song. Good for kids.
BUC*VU7 / HPP109 / W&R165 / Cha132 Hope is a star that shines in the night / When God is a child (Wren) A candle lighting song with a chorus sung each week "When God is a child there's joy in our song. The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong, and none shall be afraid". Lyrics.
TiS 289 / AoVK-55 / CH282 / Lau093 Christmas is coming the Church is glad to sing (Bell) I imagine most people will be familiar with this. I find it a little bit annoying, but it’s really fine. I’m just picky.
Online resource The Advent candle shines with hope (Padgett) New words for each week of Advent to a nice traditional hymn tune (MARYTON). This would go very easily in most congregations. Best sung fairly slowly. Free sheet music.
Online resource Kindle this flame of peace (Dillensnyder) A set of songs for Advent candle-lighting from the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist church. The first line is the same each weeek, and the second line changes. The tune is the same as the very familiar song "Breathe on me Breath of God". Free sheet music.
AoV2-123 / AoVK-59 Twilight then darkness (Porter) A lovely Advent candle song, which could be good for Northern Hemisphere people. In the Southern Hemisphere, you could possibly use this at dinner time, if you live closer to the equator than me. Darkness comes pretty late in a Melbourne Summer.
Linnea Good Hope is a candle This is a more upbeat song. Specific for Wintry Christmas places.
Online Resource Awaken us God (Garnaas-Holmes) A set of candle-lighting songs set to what my mum calls "The American tune" for Away in a Manger. Probably good for Americans who will recognise it. Free sheet music. 
Online Resource Hope is a light (Damon) A simple and quite nice Advent candle lighting song. Free sheet music.
Online Resource In twilight's calm and gentle space / Season of Gifts (Wiltshire) Based on the themes of GIFT: Grace Illumination Faith Transformation. Free book download.
MV221 I am walking a path of peace (Tissandier) A simple song for a benediction or an Advent Candle Song; words can be altered to paths of love, grace, hope, joy etc. Good for kids.
MV220 Hope shines as the solitary star (Maclean) A nice song seeking personal growth and connection that reflects the love of Christ. It will need to be taught, but once taught it's easily sung. Lyrics

Anytime in Advent songs (some could also be used for candle-lighting, or sung each week as a theme song)
BUC*Online Resource Come Christmas Child (Murray) A wonderful new song that fits the themes we are exploring this year: that Christ will come amid the pain and hurt that exists in the world (oh, maybe we explore that every year?). The tune is not easy - it will need to be taught, but the lyrics will make it worth the time! Lyrics and sheet music.
BUC*Online Resource Drawing Nearer (Grundy) An excellent contemporary song about the lack of peace within the world and within our souls, and the desire for God to "steal our hearts - like a baby". It's great. Free sheet music. Sound sample (youtube). I would use this first by a soloist, and invite the congregation to join in as they get the hang of it.
Online Resource Christ comes again (Hamm) Very easy to sing, and good lyrics about where Christ can be found in our everyday lives. Lyrics and sheet music.
*TiS 166 / AHB 102 / StB 35 Sing a new song sing a new song Excellent inclusive words from Australian poet James McAuley. All of creation waiting for the promise of God. The last verse is a bit heterosexual, which may bother some. Lyrics. 
*NCH121 / UMH210 / VU005 / WoV629 / ELW266 / W&R163 / Cha139 All earth is waiting / All earth is hopeful / Toda la tierra espera al Salvador (Taule) Fun Catalonian tune, good words, although the English translations vary between sources. Could be good for kids. A nice recording from Chile in Spanish. Slow and majestic organ sample and English lyrics. I particularly like this translation.
*TiS 265 / AHB 193 / AoV1-174 / NCH116 / CH273 / UMH211 / VU001 / LBW034 / ELW283 / GA285 / HPP92 / PH009 / GC317 / GC(II)323 / G(3)395 / CP089 / CP(E) 32 / W&R154 / Cha119 / 82Hml-056 / Lau112 O come O come Emmanuel (Psaleroilum Cantionum Catholicarum) A very well known ancient Advent carol. Most versions are pretty inclusive. Lyrics and sound sample. There are also two alternate versions (one by Sue Wickham and one by John Henson), set to the same tune, but with more modern lyrics and ideas. See the Facebook Group for lyrics.
*Music by Heart 59 Come light of lights (Cunningham) A lovely two-part chant that would be a nice meditative song for any week of Advent (and other times in the church year) "Come light of lights into my heart. Come wisdom of spirit into my heart". It can be sung quite slowly and meditatively, or more energetically and joyfully, depending on your context; it can also be split into a round! Two videos: A quick version and a slow versionSound sample.
*AoVK-52 O Emmanuel, come into our hearts with 3 verses. In 2008 we sang just the chorus on Advent 1, then added one verse for each week. Verse 1 “We your people are waiting for you..” Verse 2 “ We, your people are longing for you”. Verse 3 “ We your people are ready for you”. Could use a cantor for the verse and congregation join in the chorus. Would be great with good Latin or African percussion. We sang this last year during Advent, and it worked well. Good for kids.
*Online Resource:  Prepare the way of the Lord (King / Lowery) An upbeat song, good for kids and teenagers, I think. The verses are kind of wordy, but they're good words. Free sheet music. The verses follow the traditional advent themes of peace, hope, joy and love, so you could also sing it every Sunday of Advent; we sang this in 2012 - it was a bit tricky. Good for kids.
*Taize / CH276 / VU22 / GtG090 / ELW262 / GA283 / G(II)256 / GC332 / GC(II)340 / G(3)406 / CP094 / W&R166 / PfAS037B / SP28 / URW396 / Lau088 Wait for the Lord (Berthier) Wait for the Lord whose day is near, wait for the lord, keep watch, take heart. A lovely simple Taize chant. Sheet music, translations and sound samples.
CH784 Come light light of God / Lumière de Dieu (Grandchamp Community) A lovely simple chant. Would be beautiful for Advent candle lighting. Simple harmonies. Sheet music. 
*MV045 Hamba nathi (Zulu) This is the song we sang during Advent 2009 for the (usually silent) procession at the start of our worship service, and we wrote verses for each week. We sang it in Zulu followed by one line in English on the repeat. Week 1: You are holy, you show us the way. Week 2: Justice is coming, prepare the way. Week 3: Singing and shouting, we're walking the way. Week 4: We're walking to freedom, come join in the song. There are a lot of other translations and variations of this song. I like "Come walk with us, the journey is long". Good for kids.
*MV011 / StS007 / GtG091 / GC(II)338 / G(3)405 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've done at Brunswick. At other times of year it can be used with the Cantor for confession. Slow sound sample. Sheet music sample.
Iona (HSNW) / VU019 / A&M839 / SP326 Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away (Iona) This song would also work well as a simple candle lighting chant during Advent in the Northern Hemisphere. Sound sample.
GC(II)352 / G(3)442 Gift of God O Emmanuel (Haugen) A nice chant-like refrain and Cantor line. Note that this one needs a cantor. Would be excellent for Advent and then Christmas day. Many verses which can be sung, so choose the most appropriate for your congregation or write your own. Sound sample. Sheet music sample. 
BUC*MV19 Maranatha This simple chant, simply “Maranatha, Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus, come” might work well if you are having a more meditative approach to the Advent season. We used this last year, and it would be good to repeat it, I think.
BUC*ATFG 514 Emmanuel Carol / God of light we are waiting for you This is probably not one to  sing every week, but is definitely worth looking at as a general resource for Advent.
BUCGC324 / RS 492 Here in this world where darkness surrounds us / Come O Hope of your people / Advent Gathering (Cooney) Excellent questioning words. Cantor and response. Simple to sing, and quite beautiful "Show us your face, O promise of dawn". It's in 7/8 so it immediately appeals to me.... Sheet music sample.
*Seeds of Faith Prepare the Way For Love (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A good song for kids. I think it would be fun to make up additional verses for this one so it could carry through the whole of Advent. Sound sample and lyrics. BUC people, I have this book. Good for kids.
AoVK-58 We wait in hope for the Lord (Ford) Simple a cappella round "We wait in hope for the Lord, God is our help and our shield. And so our hearts rejoice, for we trust in God's holy name". Good for kids.
*MV028 / StJ / FFS25 / GC(II)507 / G(3)587 God of the Bible / Fresh as the morning (Murray) Good words. I particularly like the tune by Alonso, as the chorus is really very wonderful. This is a song worth learning for Advent, but can be sung all through the year. I think this song would be a really good "fit" for our congregation. Lyrics, sheet music sample.
BUC*Tune in: We are the dream that's longing / Jesus is waiting (Brown) 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. Come, be our liberator, bless and make us free. Come be the light upon the shore. Come be the freedom for the prison of our time. Come now and open up the door”. Lyrics, sound sample, video and songbook.
BUC*Tune In: Dare to Dream (Loukes) A great song about having a vision for the future, being lead by the light of Bethlehem’s star. "Dare to dream of new beginnings, Paths untried, by faith supplied".  Sound sample, lyrics, song book
PsalmBody list: It's a wonder (Good). A lovely 2009 anthem from Linnea Good, which would go well in any Christmas pageant, or special choral music. Very simple to sing and with only 2 parts, so not too challenging for older kids or a mixed choir of less experienced singers. Soloist mp3 sample and download. The song is from her newest album: Momentary Saints.  
URW424 Come Lord Jesus (Landry) An extremely simple chant that could be used in Advent. *CoC30 Look toward Christmas! (Murray) I particularly like tune (i); very joyous! A fun song looking forward to Christmas. I don’t know if it would last the distance of singing it every week before Christmas, but it might. Quite good for kids. I like the image of the angels flexing their wings! 
GA272 Maranatha Maranatha Come Lord Jesus Come (Wood) A good, simple Advent chant with some nice verses and prayers to go with each week.  
*Iona / VU33 Watch watch and pray (Iona) A very short Advent chant; could be used at various times during the service, maybe even during intercessions. Also has lyrics specific for Maundy Thursday.
*GC(II)326 Lead Us to Your Light (Browning) Good advent song. You could sing one verse each week, concluding with the final verse on Christmas day.  
GC(II)339 When the wind of winter blows (Duck) Northern Hemisphere-specific Advent song. Best if you live somewhere where it actually snows.
NCH782 To God all glorious heavenly light (Coffin) An Advent doxology. Can be sung to OLD HUNDRED or any other standard doxological tune.   
BUC*HPP216 / GtG092 While We Are Waiting Come (Cloniger) A lovely simple chant of anticipatory praise.
Online Resource  The Light of Hope is breaking in / God's Adventure (Johnson) Good verses for each week of Advent, sung to the familiar tune JERUSALEM, MY HAPPY HOME. Lyrics.
Online Resource An ancient story told (Percival) New words to the very familiar tune LEONI, inspired by a refugee family within the author's church community. Sheet music
BUC*NCH461 Let us hope when hope seems hopeless (Beebe) This seems particularly appropriate for the themes that Brunswick Uniting Church has picked up on for Advent 2014. It's not one to sing each week, and may be simplest to sing to HYFRYDOL rather than the set tune.

Choral works
We don't usually have a choir at Brunswick, but we often pull one together at Advent. Here are a few choral ideas.  
Online Resource There is a yearning / The Yearning (Courtney) This is quite beautiful, and will appeal to a range of congregations, as it can be interpreted quite broadly. It has arrangements both for SATB and TTBB choirs. Sheet music & sound sample.
Iona Lullaby Lullaby God comes tomorrow / Advent Lullaby (Bell) Just gorgeous. This is not necessarily a choral work - it could also be sung by a (clever) congregation, or the congregation could sing one part, accompanied by a choir. Sound sample

3 comments:

David Wood said...

I'd love it if you'd consider adding my new Advent hymn "Light a Candle Bright and Tall" to your Advent resources. It is already being sung in some churches throughout the US and in other countries. Thanks! http://singingthesacred.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/light-a-candle-straight/

W B Jones said...

"God's Adventure" may be played one verse weekly to light each Advent Candle, from Hope, to Peace, to Joy, to Love, to Christ. (I wrote it with rolling beat of "Jerusalem, My Happy Home" in mind, but you could set to other tunes as you wish.)

Link to lyrics and pdf at http://poetarc.wordpress.com/2012/12/01/gods-adventure-advent-candle-lighting-song/
Peace and good! Rev. William B. Jones

Bronwyn Marchant said...

Do you know 'Star Child, Earth Child' by Shirley Murray? It's a lovely advent song. It's in a New Zealand hymn book called 'Carol our Christmas' available from The New Zealand Hymnbook Trust. It's in other hymnals now as well but I don't have a list. The last line of the chorus is "This year, this year, let the day arrive, when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive". Maybe you already know it.
Bronwyn.