Songs, Hymns & Music for Advent 4C (23 December 2018)

As well as the songs listed below, there are many other Advent songs you could sing. Here is a list of general Advent suggestions.

Micah 5:2-5a
The one of peace will come from the small clan of Judah in Bethlehem. Prophets foretold it.
  • TiS 621 / UMH435 / VU677 / LBW416 / ELW748 / GtG756 / PH289 / GC(II)717 / G(3)825 /  CP593 / W&R626 / Cha680 / 82Hml-607 O God of Every Nation (William Reid) Powerful words seeking God's redemption of the world. Can be sung to LLANGLOFFAN or PASSION CHORALE, both very familiar hymn tunes. Lyrics and a tune sample. Go look at the lyrics just to bring a smile to your face. So much hope! New words to old tunes.
  • Iona (M&G) / ATAR609 / CH359 / MV033 / GtG137 / ZSS54 / StJ / 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) A lovely simple song - you can make up words and have a lot of fun with this if you also use some drums. Scottish sound sample. Good for kids.
  • TiS 283 / HPP87 / CP(E) 58 / W&R167 / Srce2-382 / Lau116 / StF178 Long ago prophets knew (Fred Pratt Green) I’m never sure if I like this one, but lots of other people do and it fits the reading this week well. Suitable if you choose to focus on Christ as being the prophet who was foretold. Lyrics. New words to old tunes
  • AoV2-089 / Taize / MV086 / SFFS 2156 Give peace to every heart / Da Pacem Cordium (Jacques Berthier) A good, simple Taize chant. Sound samples, sheet music (not cantor lines though)  
Luke 1:46b-55
The magnificat! Yay! The magnificat!
  • *CH291 When out of poverty is born (Kathy Galloway) An excellent set of words for Advent that reflects on God's good news for the poor and the strength of Mary's faith. Set to the familiar tune KINGSFOLD. Lyrics (downloads PDF) New words to old tunes.
  • G(II)128 / GC147 / GC(II)83 / G(3)102 / PfAS1020 / URW020 And Holy Is Your Name (David Haas) Lovely words to a simple Celtic tune (WILD MOUNTAIN THYME). Sound sample and lyrics. Tune. You can also use just the chorus as a refrain to a reading of this passage. New words to old tunes
  • *TiS 172 / NCH119 / UMH198 / VU899 / GtG099 / PfAS1042 / Cha130 My soul gives glory to my God (Miriam Therese Winter) Simple and beautiful words to a simple and beautiful tune. Inclusive lyrics. Lyrics (plus lyrics to lots of other magnificats). Scroll down and look for "ecumenical". New words to old tunes
  • MV120 / StS124 / R245 / ELW723 / HPP88 / GtG100 / G(II)376 / GC556 / GC(II)527 / G(3)622 / PfAS075B / URW018 My soul cries out with a joyful shout (Canticle of the Turning) (Rory Cooney) This is my favourite Magnificat! No, really!! "Could the world be about to turn?" It's sung to a folk tune (STAR OF THE COUNTY DOWN). Lyrics & Sheet music samples. New words to old tunes 
  • MV134 There was a child in Galilee / Dreaming Mary (Janet Gadeski) This is a thoughtful, imaginative song of Mary, which would be best sung by a soloist, with the words made available for the congregation to ponder. Lyrics (scroll down past the videos, but make sure you watch the "Parody of a Modern Worship Service" video on the way down)
  • A&M185 / GC(II)362 / G(3)434 / SP069 Dark is the night / Sing Alleluia (Francis Patrick O'Brien) Excellent and simple Christmas song which reflects the magnificat and the happiness of Jesus’ parents. I especially like the last verse “Hope for the poor, release for the captive, Love for the outcast, light for weary eyes; Word that brings life, embracing humanity, Jesus, companion be born into our lives”. It would be particularly good for a Christmas eve service. The chorus would also work very nicely on its own. Lead sheet and lyrics. Sound sample.
  • *W&R172 For Ages Women Hoped and Prayed (Jane Parker Huber) This is one of those "Coming, but already here songs" of Advent, and could be sung at other times of year, too. Thought-provoking words about what it may have been like for Mary to bear Christ. Lyrics (downloads a large pdf). Set to VOX DILECTI, but could be sung to other tunes. It fits New Britain (the tune for Amazing Grace) quite nicely. New words to old tunes.
  • *Online resource Magnificat (Bruce Harding) A fun magnificat, using the Latin phrase “Magnificat amina mea deum”. I think our musicians would like this one! Sound and sheet music sample. 
  • HiOS101 My heart is leaping (Marion Kitchingman) Good words, and a joyful tune.  
  • Taizé / Iona (T1AU) / StS012 / GA545 / GC(II)522 / G(3)630 / PfAS1018 Magnificat “Magnificat amina mea dominum” (Jacques Berthier) To be honest, I think it’s kind of funny to sing “Magnificat” as a lyric, but maybe that's just me. There are also alternative English lyrics (Sing out my soul), which are good if your congregation thinks singing in Latin is quirky. A catchy and happy Taize chant. Sheet music, sound samples, and English translation.
  • CH141 / A&M548 / SP250 / URW077 / StF114 Oh the life of the world is a joy and a treasure (Kathy Galloway) This is not a Magnificat, but holds some similar concepts! Good inclusive words about God's presence in "the life of the world" (nature, seasons, childbirth, justice). The tune is a simple Celtic-style melody. Lyrics.  
  • *VU323 Maker of the sun and moon and mother of the earth (Peter Sharrocks) Wonderful inclusive words, and a beautiful tune, that for me sounds a lot like "Lord Jesus Christ, Lover of All" so melodically ties Advent in with Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. You may like to sing it this Sunday and leave the last verse until Christmas day. Highly recommended. Lyrics
  • *Online Resource Christmas come close (Shirley Murray) Excellent words, sung to a simple hymnlike tune with some really beautiful images about difficult things and the hope that Christmas brings. A sad song, but with plenty of hope. Sheet music and lyrics.
  • GC788 / G(II)568 / GC(II)773 / G(3)892 All that I am sings (David Haas) Nice. Simple refrain. Lead sheet and lyrics.  Sound sample.
  • ATAR639 / GC(II)782 / Lau338 My Soul Proclaims your Greatness O God (from Holden Evening Prayer) (Marty Haugen) Nice, simple to sing. Sheet music sample (you'll need to scroll through). Lyrics (where it says "Magnificat". 
  • GA250 / StF060 My soul rejoices / Canticle of Mary (Owen Alstott) A simple, hymnlike Magnificat.
Alternative to the Magnificat: Psalm 80:1-7
Restore us, let your face shine that we may be saved.
  • TiS 265 / AHB 193 / AoV1-174 / NCH116 / CH273 / UMH211 / VU001 / LBW034 / ELW283 / GA285 / HPP92 / GtG088 / PH009 / GC317 / GC(II)323 / G(3)395 / CP089 / CP(E) 32 / W&R154 / Cha119 / 82Hml-056 / Lau112 / StF280 / MP493 O come O come Emmanuel (Psalerolium Cantionum Catholicarum) A very well known ancient Advent carol. Most versions are pretty inclusive. Lyrics, sheet music. 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. Oldy-but-a-goody. 
  • CH573 / UMH523 / GtG789 / PfAS061B / STB059 Jesus Savior Lord lo to thee I fly / Saranam Saranam (Daniel Niles) I think this would be an excellent song to sing, not only because the words are good and because the tune is simple and beautiful, but because we need to keep praying for the people of Sri Lanka. You could use just the refrain if you would like a short song - it works quite well on its own.  Story Lyrics & chords.  
  • TiS 42 / GA047 Lord make us turn to you (Kathleen Boschetti) A simple refrain and mostly inclusive cantor part. We have sung this at Brunswick some years ago and it went very well. Don't forget that you can use these refrains with a reader if you don't have someone confident enough to cantor.
  • PfAS080C O Shepherd hear and lead your flock (Michael Morgan) Strong mournful and formal words to the rather Christmassy tune ST LOUIS. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Tune In: Longing for you (Elaine Loukes) A simple chant of longing for God. Free downloadable songbook. Good for kids.
  • W&R632 / Cha512 When Aimless Violence Takes Those We Love (Joy Patterson) Excellent words for a time of grieving violent death; this won't suit most congregations, but perhaps there is one who needs it this Advent. It's sung to the well known tune SURSUM CORDA. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • *Emergent Psalter Restore us God (Isaac Everett) Another good refrain and read Psalm with instrumental backing. I'm still loving this book.
  • Tune In: Our God who weeps (Kate Scull) Very simple folk-like tune and challenging and hopeful lyrics. "When death has taken those held dear"... Free downloadable songbook.
  • *Online Resource Restore us (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) A hopeful contemporary song. This is simple enough for a congregation to sing the first time, I think, but if you're feeling less hopeful about the singing ability of your congregation, they could just join in on the VERY simple chorus! Lyrics, sound sample and sheet music.
  • *AoVK-29 Remember we are your people (Tony Barr) Simple three part chant "Remember we are your people, your people O God". This would work really well as a sung refrain during the prayer of confession. Sound sample. Good for kids. 
  • VU239 O great Spirit how I long to hear (Doreen Clellamin) Native American song - very simple, would be best with a good hand-clapping rhythm or drumming.
  • StJ / G(II)346 / GC506 / GC(II)508 / G(3)586 You Are All We Have (Francis Patrick O'Brien) A nice refrain and good cantor parts. Somewhat formal. Sound sample, sheet music sample and a different sound sample. 
  • *NCH563 / MV143 / HPP260 / GC710 / GC(II)703 / G(3)811 / RS 636 / Cha684 / URW169 / Lau688 We cannot own the sunlit sky / Abundant life (Ruth Duck) I like these words full of hope for the future. I would prefer to sing it to the tune of "How can I keep From singing". LA GRANGE is the other option. Lyrics (downloads a pdf). New words to old tunes.
  • *Psalm Project (2010) Shout for Joy Turn and restore us (Richard Bruxvoort-Colligan) This is a little bit country. Very cool, and I think a younger congregation would probably pick this up fairly quickly. Sound sample.    
  • G(II)69 / GC74 The vineyard of the Lord (Michael Guimont) A very simple refrain and read or cantored Psalm. Sample refrain music and lyrics. Sound sample.
Hebrews 10:5-10
Christ did God's will. 
  • *Iona (Common Ground, M&G, T1AU) / CH805 / MV151 / StJ / A&M412  / ELW741 / G(II)416 / GC592 / SP210 / URW440 / StF760 Your will be done on earth, O Lord / Mayenziwe 'ntando yakho (South African - Xhosa) This is a really good South African song, simple to sing, beautiful harmonies and would work well for reflection for reflection, sung slowly. Maybe it could even be sung in a minor key? Sound sample. Good for kids. 
  • *Lost resource I delight to do your will (Dean Spalding) I am a little entranced with this lovely simple chant that Dean Spalding sent through. It's designed for repetitive singing, and builds beautifully with a number of (optional) parts. Unfortunately it's not online anymore and I can't find it. This is here to remind me to look for it more diligently some day. 
  • God Comes Tomorrow (Iona) Give us this year (Iona) Beautiful words seeking a more mature response to Christmas, sung to an old hymn tune (NEUMARK). The tune is not familiar to me, but is not difficult to sing, and if you have a choir, sounds particularly lovely. New words to old tunesLyrics
Luke 1:39-45, (46-55) 
Mary and Elizabeth, but not the Annunciation (then the Magnificat).
Not many songs out there for this story....
 

  • Online Resource Hey Mary! (Malcolm Gordon & Samuel Gordon) A lovely children's song about the annunciation. It captures the surprise and the universality of God's arrival to each of us. Youtube and sheet music.
  • VU012 She walked in the summer / The Visit (Miriam Therese Winter) I think the first two verses of this are really lovely, though more suited to a soloist than a congregation. I'm not wild about the rest, sadly. Lyrics (scroll down). 
  • *Taizé / TiS 731 /  SFFS 2017 / GtG155 / G(II)377 / GC557 / GC(II)535 / G(3)618 / W&R212 / PfAS100G / URW383 / Lau691 Raise a song of gladness / Jubilate Servite (Taize) Glorious, fun round. If your congregation balks at singing in Latin, it can be sung in English as "Raise a song of gladness, all the earth, Christ has come, bringing peace, joy to every heart, Alleluia Alleluia, Joy to every heart (x2)". This is not a Gloria, but it has the feel of one!  Good for kids (and kids like Latin sometimes!) For Advent you may like to change it to "Christ will come" if singing in English.
  • *CH291 When out of poverty is born (Kathy Galloway) An excellent set of words for Advent that reflects on God's good news for the poor and the strength of Mary's faith. Set to the familiar tune KINGSFOLD. New words to old tunes
  • TiS 287 / CH287 / GtG101 / StS011 / GC(II)768 / G(3)876 No wind at the window (John Bell) Wonderful words to the familiar Celtic tune COLUMCILLE that focus on Mary's decision to say "Yes" to God. Very easy to sing. Works well for Advent and Christmas. Lyrics. Sound sample. New words to old tunes.
  • GC(II)781 O Mary of Promise (Steven Warner) A lovely song to a gentle tune. This will probably be too Marian for some, but not for me.  Lyrics and leader sheet. Sound sample.
Recorded music Heaven When We're Home (Wailin' Jennys) Something about this song makes me think of Advent. The idea that we're not sure what we're looking for, or even whether and where we should be looking, but we know that our hope is not ill-founded. It's a beautiful song, so enjoy it regardless. Lyrics.

What will you be singing? Add a comment below...

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