The season of Advent is fast approaching, but outside the Church, almost no one will notice. Before Thanksgiving dinner is even digested, we will be inundated with Christmas sales, Christmas TV specials, and of course, Christmas music.
We’ll hear plenty of renditions of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, and White Christmas. If we’re lucky we’ll get some religious songs like The Little Drummer Boy, Away in a Manger and Joy to the World. As wonderful as these Christmas songs are, they are rarely joined by songs actually tailored to the season we will be in: Advent.
Admittedly, Advent songs are harder to find, but if you know where to look, there are some gems that can help to experience this season of preparation, expectation, and waiting to celebrate the birth of the Lord. There are many traditional Catholic hymns about awaiting the birth of the Savior. A couple focus on events heralding the Lord’s Coming, such as John the Baptist’s preaching, the Annunciation, or Mary’s Magnificat. Below is a list of ten popular Advent songs. Many have been recorded by numerous artists, ranging from religious orders to pop singers. Please note that the video link for each song is not necessarily of the artist on the featured album.
- O Come, O Come Emmanuel – The ultimate Advent song can be found on the album O Night Divine by L’Angelus
- Holy is His Name – Pathways of the Shepherd by John Michael Talbot
- O Come, Divine Messiah – Advent at Ephesus
- On Jordan’s Bank – More Sublime Chant by The Cathedral Singers with Richard Proulx as conductor
- The Coming of Our God – A beautiful song that you might find only in traditional hymnals, or performed by religious.
- The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came – Christmas Carols from Wells and Salsbury, sung by Richard Seal
- Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus – The Spirit of Christmas, sung by Steve Green
- Hark! A Thrilling Voice is Sounding – Abide With Me: 50 Favorite Hymns, performed by the King’s College Choir of Cambridge
- Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence – Images of Christ, by the Cambridge Singers
- Emmanuel – A Gospel song from the album God He Reigns by the Hillsong Christian Community
So what do you think? Do you have some favorite Advent songs that belong on this list?