We Americans tend to jump straight to the celebration of Christmas without spending time waiting and preparing during Advent. Here’s the drawback: just as observing Lent helps us understand Easter, inhabiting Advent is incredibly helpful for gaining a fuller understanding of the meaning of Christmas.
This season is a time to remember that the people of Israel waited for a savior for centuries, that Jesus didn’t just show up the first time someone asked for The Messiah. We should learn from their persistent longing and faithful prayers, especially because Advent is also a time to focus on longing for Christ’s second coming. As we think of the saints of old who waited with hope and of God’s faithfulness to keep his promise of a Savior, we will be encouraged to wait with hope for that Savior’s return in glory.
There are many good ways to observe Advent, but this year my family is making a concerted effort to listen to uniquely Advent songs until December 24th. We’ll switch to Christmas songs for 12 days and then switch again to Epiphany songs on January 6th. The list below reflects my effort (with the help of old church bulletins and posts at Cardiphonia and This Classical Life) to find songs for Advent that focus on the waiting and longing that preceded the first Christmas and the waiting and longing that are currently preceding Christ’s second coming. Let me know what I’ve left out!
Songs for Advent
- All Things New
- Come All Ye Pining
- Come, Lord, and Tarry Not
- Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus
- Comfort, Comfort All My People
- Creator of the Stars of Night
- Deliver Us
- Everlasting God
- Gabriel’s Message
- Handel’s Messiah (up to “For Unto Us a Child Is Born”)
- Hark, A Thrilling Voice Is Sounding
- Jesus Is Coming
- The King Shall Come When Morning Dawns
- Let All Mortal Flesh
- Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
- Lo He Comes
- Mary’s Song
- Matthew’s Begats
- A New Jerusalem
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel
- Of the Father’s Love Begotten
- O Savior, Rend the Heavens Wide
- Savior of the Nations, Come
- So Long, Moses
- To Us a Child of Hope is Born
- Zechariah and the Least Expected Places
- Zechariah’s Song
I’ve just discovered this blog, but here’s my list of Advent hymns from a few years back: http://knowtea.com/?page_id=173
Glad you found us! I’m eager to check out your Advent hymns list – thanks for sharing it.
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Thanks so much for this list! I shared it with a friend and then realized some of the links no longer work; would it be possible to have a list that includes the artists next to the titles of the songs? Thanks again, and have a great Advent 2019!
Hi Christina! You can find my Advent playlist on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0iZ42m3m7uy4aZr4Xtn1CN?si=GOSjF7NaSJqjGYgMPeLuMQ