8 Great Songs for Advent and Christmas

The season of Advent is a blessed time of anticipation and preparation for that wonderful festival of the Incarnation we call Christmas. We are invited to commit ourself a new to waiting in joyful hope for the second coming of Christ our King, while also marking and celebrating that awesome first-coming of Jesus as a Baby in Bethlehem.

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As well as the familiar seasonal carols and hymns, there are many other beautiful songs which can help us to explore the treasured mysteries of these great seasons. Here are 8 of our home-grown favourites: 

1. Hail Mary (Rolinson) ~ We could call this the “song of the Annunciation” {Luke 1:26 – 38}. The Hail Mary, is of course a familiar year-round prayer in our Catholic tradition, but this setting from our Christmas album The Promise, always seems to have greater resonance at this time of year.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album The Promise
Available on iTunes


2. Magnificat ~ Mary’s great canticle of praise is a familiar feature of the daily Evening of prayer of the Church.  In the context of our Advent Journey, the Magnificat reminds us to trust and praise God for his promise of mercy – whatever circumstance we find ourselves in, we know that he will feed the hungry and raise the lowly just as he promised.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album Before the Lord
Available on iTunes


3. Dear Elizabeth ~ This beautiful story-song was written by the late Mike Stanley and his wife, Yvonne, while they were expecting their first son.  It imagines the correspondence between Mary and her cousin Elizabeth as Mary shares the experience of being pregnant with Jesus amidst the confusion of her husband Joseph.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album The Promise
Available on iTunes


4. A King is Born ~This upbeat Christmas song is an invitation to let our new born King, Emmanuel, reign in our hearts and in our lives.  It also reminds us that one day everyone – soldiers, shepherds, wise men and fools alike – will bend the knee at the name of Jesus.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album The Promise
Available on iTunes


5. Love Shone Down ~ A popular modern carol which is simple enough to be sung by a whole congregation, but which also lends itself performance.  It tells the nativity story from the perspective of one of the shepherds who is wondering in the aftermath of the birth of Jesus, whether is was all a dream or not.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album The Promise
Available on iTunes


6. This Promise is for You ~ A song which puts the Incarnation of Christ into the wider context of the story of Salvation and God’s covenant of love with us, his people. This song also makes an invitation to to each of us to personally embrace this promise of God – not just at Christmas, but always.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album Born in Bethlehem
Available on iTunes


 

7. O Little Town ~ The words of the familiar carol are heard and experienced in a new way when carried on this evocative, lilting melody by Mike Stanley.  You can download free melody line and guitar chords for this piece here.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album Born in Bethlehem
Available on iTunes


8) We Have Seen the Light ~ Inspired by the Epiphany story of the three magi who found the Christ-child by following the light of a star in the East. This epic song echoes the journey of ALL of who who seek and find Christ. Our response, in the end is the same: “Come, let us adore him”.

PIANO sheet music is available here
Recorded on the album The Promise
Available on iTunes


Downloadable PDF Sheet music for each of these songs is available here


We’d love to hear about your other favourite Advent and Christmas songs. Please share in the comments below…

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