When I posed the question “What song bubbles up within your heart at this season?” I got a number of responses. Most of them were Christmas rather than Advent songs, so I thought I would list some of my favorites for Advent.
This selection focuses on Advent themes rather than the Christmas carols that the secular culture grabs onto before Christmas is seen vaguely on the horizon. These songs really help me to keep my spiritual focus in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Then when Christmas arrives (or at least gets close) I can enjoy the carols fully. I love Advent chants, especially Gregorian chants, and also contemplative music so obviously this is the focus of my suggestions here.
Everyone’s favorite is O Come O Come Emmanuel which is often used in the days leading up to Christmas so I thought it was a good one to start with.
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:
One song 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.
For several years I produced an Advent meditation video with background music by Jeff Johnson. These can be viewed on YouTube but here are my favorites
As a free gift to you all, a small way to say thank you for your prayers, support and encouragement, we offer, as well as Advent in a Jar, our Advent/Christmas colouring book, Colour Your Way Through Advent and Christmas. Colouring pages are based on the O Antiphon images drawn for us last year by Danielle Poland for our popular devotional A Journey Toward Home: Soul Travel from Advent to Lent. Additional Christmas images were created by our new volunteer Shelby Selvidge.
And don’t forget our prayer cards and other Godspace resources
Prayer Cards. I have loved putting these together and their popularity suggests you enjoy them too. There are three sets available – two that provide short reflections and prayers for pausing through the day and a third with a Celtic theme. These are available as separate sets or you can bundle them together to receive one of each set. I find these cards enrich my own devotional time and I hope they will do the same for yours.
A Journey Towards Home: Soul Travel From Advent to Lent with contributions from a number of Godspace authors
This is part of a series on Christmas/Advent resources. Check out the other posts here