I am already heartily sick of I’m dreaming of a white Christmas and other popular Christmas tunes. Fortunately there are lots of alternatives. I am not an expert on music but thought that I would list a few of my favourites for this season. Focusing my own music choices on Advent themes rather than the Christmas carols that the secular culture grabs onto really helps me to keep my spiritual focus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. I love Advent chants, especially Gregorian chants, and also contemplative music so obviously this is the focus of my suggestions here.
Gregorian Chants to Inspire Us.
Gregorian chants especially during Advent are a wonderful way to calm my soul and rest my spirit.
I also highly recommend acquiring is a set of Advent chants recorded by The Benedictines of Mary “Advent at Ephesus” These hit the top of the classic music lists a couple of years ago and it is easy to see why.
And another favourite of mine an hour of contemplative music from Hildegard of Bingen Voice of the Living Light
And I just came across this amazing set of chants recorded in 1930
Advent Songs from the Black Gospel Tradition.
Paul Neeley at Global Christian Worship posted a link to this wonderful collection of inspirational African American gospel songs that are appropriate to Advent. It included this inspirational recording.
Celtic Music for the Season
My favourite Celtic style musician is Jeff Johnson. His Selah service meditations on Psalms are beautiful to listen to at this time of the year to help us maintain our peace. His Christmas album A Quiet Knowing Christmas is also one of my constant companions.
I also enjoy this great collection of instrumental Celtic Christmas music.
Another inspirational recording is this one from Celtic Woman.
I love these not quite so traditional songs from Pentatonix
And Carol of the Bells:
A Few More Traditional Christmas Suggestions.
If you are looking for more traditional Christmas Music here are some that are hard to beat:
Two songs that remind us of the season of Advent rather than Christmas:
Andrea Bocelli Christmas songs
And for those that want to check out the vast range of what is out there.
Top 40 Pop has a list of their top 100 Christmas songs .
And a fascinating list of 50 top Christmas Songs from TimeOut London.
A great list of classical Christmas albums. from Ranker.com.
Looking for an International Christmas:
I love this Arabic Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity.
Some beautiful songs for peace, from Latin America:.
African Christmas by Ed Jordan is a very powerful song to listen to at this time of the year.
Betelehemu – a Nigerian Christmas song sung by the African Children’s Choir
And for more inspirational carols from around the world you might like to do a Christmas search on the Global Christian Worship site. Check out the carols in Arabic, Yoruba (Nigeria), Pidgin from Papua New Guinea and many more languages.
Music and More from MSA
Each year I produce an Advent meditation video with background music by Jeff Johnson. These can be viewed online along with other Advent resources or purchased in high resolution by download.
I am still working on the Advent 2015 video but here is a link to the Advent 2014 Lord You Wait for Us.
In the last couple of years we have produced several sets of prayer cards which are available for purchase. These have been used extensively for prayer, grief counselling, gifts, and congregational distribution.
This is part of a series on resources for Advent/Christmas. Check out the other posts: