Now that we are in December, people are doing Christmas shopping, hanging Christmas decorations, and blasting Christmas music.
But as Catholics, we have this little season in December called, “Advent,” …the coming, the waiting, the hope….so to really prepare for Christmas, rather than blasting Christmas music…we should really immerse ourselves in ADVENT music…music that speaks for that yearning and longing (and then when Christmas arrives, then blast Christmas music for the whole CHRISTMAS SEASON, that is, at least until Jan.6 (Epiphany).
However, as there are not a lot of great Advent playlists out there (even many “Advent” albums by some artists, while great music, still have a lot of Christmas songs on them), I decided to compile my own personal Advent playlist (Below).
Advent has become one my favorite seasons…it is a season where we meditate on a yearning and hope for something which has not yet come. In our readings for Sundays, we immerse ourselves in the period of the Exile, around which most of the prophets arose…. Despite warnings over and over from the prophets, the Israelites followed their path of stubborn pride, greed, and idolatry, leading to their downfall, destruction, and exile. Thus, we are left in this place, far from home, yearning to return… that place where the Israelites had been conquered and exiled…that now they are in a far-away place, longing for home, and hoping (at times, a seemingly faint hope), for God to come and save them, to bring them back to the home they yearn for, they long for! Thus our song for Advent is “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, the yearning cry to come and save us.
Taking these Advent themes together I’ve compiled here my ADVENT PLAYLIST (Of course tailored to my personal taste in music as well)! Enjoy!
- Slip Away – Josh Garrels: (Love & War and the Sea Between) In exile, the realization that one has lost everything, and there is no one to blame but myself…is there hope? Is there redemption? This song captures that crying out in prayer.
- Ulysses – Josh Garrels: The yearning for home, for one’s love…I think more than many songs, this one captures that YEARNING for one’s love/home/hope that is still very far away!
- Far-Off Hope (Instrumental ) – Josh Garrels: (Love & War…) – An instrumental piece; the title of which is aptly named…capturing that experience, that maybe there is hope that one day we will be saved…that perhaps all is not lost…
- May you find a light – The Brillance: a song that speaks to the lost and weary traveler, try to find one’s way, and the light to guide them back home.
- Hope – The Brilliance: the song sort of speaks for itself
- O Great God, Give us Rest – David Crowder Band: In the longing for home, that God would give us rest, and to bring us back to life.
- Show us the King – The Brilliance: The yearning for the coming of the King to rescue
- Come to us, O Lord – Young Oceans
- O Come O Come Emmanuel – Josh Garrels: (Light Came down) The ancient hymn, associated with Christmas…but really is an ADVENT song…and really THE Advent song…that experience of yearning, hoping for a Savior to come, to rescue the people from exile, from bondage, to redeem us…that yearning hope…..
- O Come Divine Messiah – Jennie Lee Riddle
- Come Thou Long Expected Jesus – Kings Kaleidoscope
And Finally, a few other classic Advent hymns:
- “O Come Divine Messiah”
- “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus”
- “The King Shall Come when Morning Dawns” (translated by John Brownlie)
- “Rorate Caeli” – A Classic Latin Advent Chant
If you have any other great songs for an Advent playlist please share! Let me know!