Songs, Hymns & Music for Advent 2B (December 6th, 2020)

I list many more songs for Advent listed here, that will also be appropriate for these readings. The following are more focused suggestions! 

Isaiah 40:1-11  
“Comfort my people”. A voice in the wilderness crying out to make a straight path for God. See also the suggestions for Mark at the bottom of this entry.
  • TiS 647 / AoV2-012 / ATN 25 / STB184 Comfort, comfort all my people (Robin Mann) Easy to sing, beautiful lyrics; largely a paraphrase of this passage. 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”. Lyrics, mp3 sample. Good for kids, too.
  • StF183 Praise to the God who clears the way (Jan Berry) Good words to a simple tune. Each verse reflects on a different nature of God: clearing the way, coming to judge, waiting with us, and bringing comfort. Lyrics to one verse, and chords.
  • BUC Song Project: Feed us the bread of your body of love / Harvest our love (Dave Brown). This song is funky and great. The chorus is: “Come and be our feast, harvest our love; Restore our sight again, breath of life and power; Light of the world, shine in this space; In the gracious meal of love, bless us to this age. In the cosmic mystery, show us Jesus' face”. We haven't sung this for quite a while. Not online yet, sorry.
  • Online resource: In the still of winter (Nancy Kilgore) These beautiful words to the well-known tune FOUNDATION would be particularly good for a quieter, more reflective Advent service in the Northern Hemisphere. "From the silence of evening, from shadow and sleep, comes a numinous star like a voice from the deep. How long must I wander, how far must I roam? I am here, I am with you, and I'll lead you home." Available here. New words to old tunes.  
  • NCH101 / CH274 / VU883 / LBW29 / ELW256 / HPP84 / PHS003 / GtG087 / GC326 / GC(II)331 / G(3)413 / CP100 / W&R155 / Cha122 / 82Hml-067 / Lau097 / VF032 Comfort Comfort O My People (Johannes Olearius, translated by Catherine Winkworth) A more traditional setting of this passage. I don’t know why this is not popular in Australia. The tune PSALM 42 (Genevan Psalter) also sometimes known as GENEVA is not the GENEVA in TiS. Of course, NCH has the most inclusive lyrics, but the others are mostly okay too. Lyrics. Sound sample. Sheet music for the tune. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • Cha123 Comfort Comfort O My People (Scripture passage) A responsive reading and sung response based on the familiar hymn listed above.
  • ATOK 337 / The word made flesh The grass withers (Robin Mann) A simple song “The grass withers and the flowers fade but the word of our God lasts forever”; this even fits well at this time of year, when everything is drying off in Australia, and getting covered in snow in the far North of the world. Lyrics. 
  • Online Resource Prepare the way with quietness (David Bjorlin) Excellent words that pick up on Advent as a time of preparation. Sung to the well known tune LAND OF REST. Lyrics. Song book for purchase. New words to old tunes. 
  • Online resource Comfort comfort my people (Bruce Harding) A simple round. Free sheet music. Sound sample. More about the songwriter.
  • Online Resource The prophets caught a vision (David Bjorlin) A song about the vision of the prophets, and our call to have prophetic visions too. Set to the old Welsh tune LLANGLOFFAN. Sample sheet music, lyrics and purchasing options. New words to old tunes
  • NCH121 / UMH210 / VU005 / WoV629 / ELW266 / W&R163 / Cha139 All earth is waiting / All earth is hopeful / Toda la tierra espera al Salvador (Alberto 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.  Good for kids
Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
God will speak peace; righteousness and peace will kiss each other. God’s forgiveness and steadfastness.
  • AoV1-106 / UMH376 / WoV774 / ELW753 / GtG752 / G(II)528 / GC730 / GC(II)724 / G(3)822 / CP562 /  Cha297 / URW443 / 82Hml-712 / Lau904 / LUYH073 Dona Nobis Pacem (American folk song) This is very well known, and would fit well with this reading. Good for kids. Oldy-but-a-goody. Sheet music.
  • Taiz√© / TiS 713 / Cha296 Dona nobis pacem domine / cordium (Jacques Berthier) There is a specific cantor line for Psalm 85 to go with this prayer of peace. Sound samples and sheet music for the refrain
  • TiS 409 / AHB 322 / CH595 / UMH543 / VU202 / StJ / SLW43 / W&R328 / Cha250 / StF391 / MP488 O Breath of life come sweeping through us (Elizabeth Porter Head) This is a really good older style hymn with inclusive lyrics. Lyrics and sheet music. Not all verses are in all hymnals.
  • AoVNG55 / Iona (WWHW) / G(II)74 / CP113 Come O Lord and Set Us Free (Daryl Ducote / Gary Daigle / Mike Balhoff) Good simple, inclusive refrain with a pretty groovy cantor line; could work for the younger set. This song appears in a few different formats. There is a full-length short song (WWHW) and a short 7 bar refrain (Gather), either would work well as a response. The refrain is exactly the same melody as the short song, but only uses the words "Come O Lord and set us free, come and set us free". Sample sheet music. Sound sample. 
  • CH720 / A&M409 / GtG470 / G(3)653 / SP204 / Lau941 There is a longing in our hearts O Lord (Anne Quigley) Good words of longing for God's love, justice, wisdom, healing. A good song for before, during or after intercessions. Sound sample. Sheet music sample.
  • G(II)254 / GC330 Let Me Taste Your Mercy Like Rain (Rory Cooney) Good words of both personal and communal redemption. Simple contemporary tune. Lyrics & lead sheet. Clunky sound sample.  
  • PfAS085C Righteousness and peace (Mary David Callahan) A nice simple refrain; a little bit majestic. "Righteousness and peace shall go before the Lord".
  • CH198 / MV001 / HPP550 / A&M365 / GtG301 / GC753 / GC(II)741 / G(3)850 / SP176 / URW058/ Lau458 / StF409 Let Us Build a House / All are welcome (Marty Haugen / TWO OAKS) This song has wonderful lyrics of hope for what a Christian community can be like, and a chorus that joyfully says “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place”. Sheet music sample. Sound sample
  • TiS 217 / AHB 148 / NCH43 / CH519 / UMH384 / VU333 / A&M721 / LBW315 / ELW631 / A&M721 / GA463 / HPP48 / GtG366 / PH376 / GC622 / GC(II)613 / G(3)641 / CP485/6 / CP(E) 516 / W&R358 / Cha517 / Srce457 / URW100 / 82Hml-657 / Lau801 / StF503 / MP449 Love divine all loves excelling (Charles Wesley) A beautiful classic song and most hymnals use a very inclusive version of this hymn, even the AHB. Lyrics and sheet music.You may also like to give Rend Collective Experiment's version a listen (hard for congregations to sing, but nice for listening). Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • MV222 May the peace of God be your peace (Neil McLaren) A lovely benediction. Will need to be taught first. Lyrics.
  • CH659 / MV173 / StJ / A&M566 / G(3)824 / W&R389 / SP251 / StF712 Put peace into each other’s hands (Fred Kaan) Good words for communion; tune is quite simple and flows nicely. Slow sound sample, sheet music with lyrics. Good for kids
  • Emergent Psalter Show us your mercy O God (Isaac Everett) A simple refrain and read Psalm. Sheet music sample.
2 Peter 3:8-15a 
God has a different timeline to us. Waiting in purity; the day of the Lord will surprise us.
  • TiS 616 / AHB 547 / NCH611 / UMH730 / VU688 / HPP221 / PH452 / CP092 / CP(E) 33 / Cha700 / 82Hml-600 O day of God draw near / nigh in beauty and in power, come with your timeless judgement now to match our present hour" (Robert Balgarnie Young Scott) This older hymn has quite excellent words calling for God’s presence, steadfast faith, justice in our land, peace and light. Can be sung to BELLWOODS or ST. MICHAEL. If neither tune is familiar, ST THOMAS (TiS 271) will work well. Lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • GA281 Gather in hope people of God / Advent Song (Deidre Browne / Jane Wood) Joyful refrain, and cantor response verses. "Gather in hope, people of God, sing the Advent song! Song of faith, song of trust, a song to welcome the Christ". The verses seem a bit tricky. 
  • AoVK-58 / Online Resource We wait in hope for the Lord (Nethaniel 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". Sound sample and link to sheet music for purchase. Good for kids.
  • ATFG 514 Emmanuel Carol / God of light we are waiting for you (Gael Berberick) This is probably not one to sing every week, but is definitely worth looking at as a general resource for Advent.
  • VU718 / PH431 / W&R620 O Lord You Gave Your Servant John (Joy Patterson) Terrific words contrasting the wealth and poverty of earthly cities with the Holy City. Sung to ST. PATRICK'S BREASTPLATE or CANDLER. Lyrics and Sheet Music. New words to old tunes
  • SP&P020 We are waiting for you (Christopher Grundy) A gentle song of waiting. Would be good for the musicians to sing for the congregation during a meditative part of the service, or to commence the service. This song would also work well during distribution of communion. Sound sample
Mark 1:1-8
John the Baptist proclaims the coming of Christ
  • AoVK-50 / ATW 430 Come let us praise our God / A voice is heard (Trisha Watts) Excellent and energetic. Lyrics and sound sample. Good for kids.
  • TiS 270 / AHB 199 / NCH115 / CH334 / VU20 / LBW548 / ELW842 / A&M046 / GtG096 / PH010 / G(II)260 / GC321 / 322 / GC(II)344 / G(3)418 / CP103 / CP(E) 34 / W&R156 / 82Hml-076 / Lau094 / StF182 / MP538 On Jordan's bank the Baptist's cry (Charles Coffin) If you would like inclusive lyrics, 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 sheet music) Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • TiS 263 / CH607 The bright wind is blowing the bright wind of heaven (Cecily Taylor) Excellent words of the changes brought about by a "bright wind" that blows away the chaff of our hating, and fans the flames of love.  Joyful tune.   
  • Seeds of Faith Prepare the Way For Love (Richard 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.
  • Tune In / Online Resource Dare to Dream (Elaine 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".  Free sheet music, lyrics and sound samples
  • StS008 / SFFS 2089 / GtG163 / PH409 / StF189 Wild and Lone the Prophet's Voice (Carl P Daw) Excellent, challenging words. I prefer this sung to ABERYSTWYTH which is well known and easily accessible. Lyrics and sheet music. New words to old tunes
  • Online resource: Down by the Jordan (Carolyn Winfrey-Gillette). Good inclusive words to the familiar tune LOBE DEN HERREN. Available here. New words to old tunes
  • Online Resource:  Prepare the way of the Lord (Jeffrey 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.
  • Online Resource Prepare the way with quietness (David Bjorlin) Excellent words that pick up on Advent as a time of preparation. Sung to the well known tune LAND OF REST. Lyrics. Song book for purchase. New words to old tunes.    
  • Taiz√© / UMH207 / VU10 / StS014 / GC336 / GC(II)330 / G(3)400 / W&R174 / Cha121 Prepare the way of the Lord (Jacques Berthier) A lovely simple round. Sheet music and clunky sound sample
  • VU010 Prepare the way of the Lord (Michael Burkhardt) A lovely simple round in 6:8. "Prepare the way of the Lord! X2 Make a straight path for him, make a straight path. Prepare the way of the Lord!" You can split into 6 groups for this one! What fun! Good for kids.
  • Recorded Music Prepare ye the way of the Lord - Godspell (Stephen Schwarz / John-Michael Tebelak) This is still a great call to worship for this Sunday. Get that gospel choir going if you have the sheet music. Track it down! Youtube.
  • TiS 688 Come to be our hope O Jesus (Jaci 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!  
  • G(3)398 Prepare Prepare the way of the Lord (Stephen Pishner) A gospel song; probably a better song for the choir to sing during Advent. Youtube
What ideas do you have? Please share them in a comment below... I'd love to hear other ideas. 


Unknown said...

Great site. I'm in the UK so don't know most of your suggestions unfortunately but I'll keep looking. I'm needing to pick a couple of songs which I will be able to sing but the congregation won't because of Covid and congregational singing is not permitted. Such a shame but those are the rules for our safety.
How about "Make way, Make way" (Graham Kendrick) or "Prepare the way of the Lord" (Mary Smail)?

Stephen said...

Thanks for including my song PREPARE PREPARE as a possible choice for Advent. Here is a simple recording done with High School Students. Enjoy, (see also pishnerplaylist on youtube)
PREPARE PREPARE can be heard at