I really enjoyed creating last year’s Advent music playlist: Sleepers, Wake! to learn more about songs appropriate for the Advent season and to help me hold off on the Christmas music until Christmastide.
So I really wanted to make a new one this year! It’s a little bit shorter than the first one, but I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s got a little something for everyone, from very traditional Advent hymns to Belle and Sebastian singing “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” So, either it will appeal to different kinds of people or it will be too eclectic for anyone to enjoy! But before we get there, I want to share about my three favorite Advent music albums:
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Advent at Ephesus: by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles. This album plays in our car all Advent long. It’s so beautiful. Very traditional, haunting Advent melodies. And the kids really like it. The nuns version of “O Come, Divine Messiah” inspired us to learn the new-to-us hymn and sing it each night as we lighted our Advent candles.
Handel’s Messiah. This has to be one of the most incredible scores of music ever composed. And the libretto is just splendid how it weaves Scripture together to tell the story. It’s not all Adventy, there’s some Christmasy parts and even Lenten and Easter sections but I love how it depicts the big picture of God’s redemption which is an important idea to reflect on during Advent.
And our new fave….In the Bleak Midwinter: by Marian Grace. Y’all. I can’t stop listening to it. And it’s not even Advent yet! Technically, it’s not just Advent music, but the titles go in order: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, with gorgeous chants between each section. The voice of the vocalist, Colleen Nixon, is just stunning. And Marian Grace structured it so that if you’re serious about not listening to Christmas music until Christmas, you can press pause after the Advent songs. But I warn you…you won’t want to stop there. I start the new Advent playlist with the opening track and I broke my playlist rule of only having each artist once, because I had to include Marian Grace’s “Creator of the Stars of Night.” The link above to Amazon only offers an MP3 download, but you can order the actual CD from Ignatius Press.
For reflections on Advent and practical ways to observe the season through food and traditions, check out our brand new ebook: Feast! Real Food, Reflections, and Simple Living for the Christian Year.