Advent/Christmas Music from a Rich Array of Traditions – Updated for 2020

by Christine Sine

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. 

This year, I found an Advent playlist on Spotify for you to enjoy. There is also this great list from Cedar Park church on their Advent playlist. An album to check out is Advent to Christmas by Page CXVI.

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 is 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:

I found this great lineup of Black Christmas Music in this playlist from 2019.

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 put together a playlist on Spotify this year with an array of Celtic Advent music that you might like to listen to.

I also enjoy this great collection of instrumental Celtic Christmas music:

From Pentatonix

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:

Looking for an International Christmas:

I love this Arabic Byzantine Hymn of the Nativity.

Music and More

In past years, I produced Advent meditation videos with background music by Jeff Johnson.

From Advent 2015: Leaning Towards the Light

Below is the video from Advent 2014 called Lord, You Wait for Us. 

This is part of a series on Christmas/Advent resources. 

Resources from Godspace for Advent and Christmas

Godspace has a variety of resources available for celebrating this season.

Check out the entire resource list here for more ideas for Advent and Christmas.

Godspace has a number of Advent resources available for both free download and purchase. Visit our store.

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Advent Activities for Families and Kids Updated for 2016 – Godspace November 16, 2016 - 3:08 pm

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