Thursday, October 27, 2011

General Advent Songs and Hymns (Updated for 2016)

Advent Candle-lighting songs and other songs you make like to start looking at as you think about Advent… Updated November 2016. I will keep adding to these as the weeks go by, so check back from time to time. There will also songs for each week of Advent 2016 - see the panel on the right hand side for links (or the Coming Up in the Lectionary tab) as they are updated.

A specific song for blessing the Christmas Bowl
  • *Online Resource An empty bowl, uplifted hands (Faser) Good words for just before the start of Advent, when the Christmas Bowl is blessed, ready for contributions during the Advent season. Sung to the tune WINCHESTER NEW. Lyrics.
Specific Candle-Lighting songs
  • *Online Resource Kindle a flame within our hearts (Garside) A beautiful gentle song, with lyrics that can be altered for each week of Advent. Sheet music and lyrics.
  • Online Resource Light a candle bright and tall (Wood) Excellent words to the tune for "As with Gladness"; a new verse for each week and one for Christmas day. I'm thinking we might sing this at home when we light our candles! Lyrics and free sheet music.  Good for older kids.
  • CH284 / StS015 Hope is a candle once lit by the prophets (Leach) Excellent words for candle lighting, including a verse for each candle and one for Christmas Day. Sung to a nice Scottish folk tune (GALLOWAY TAM). Lyrics (downloads a Word document)
  • Online Resource Shine a candle (Graham) A simple and quite lovely song that could be sung each week of Advent. Free sheet music and notes for bringing the song to life
  • GtG467 / STB058 Give Us Light / Jyothi dho Prabhu (Vas) This song in Hindi or English is simple and repetitive and could be sung in either language (with a little teaching time). You could sing all 5 verses or just a few. It might also work during Advent as a candle lighting song, although you will need to consult with a Hindi speaker to change the lyrics
  • Online Resource Be still and know (adapted) An adaptation of the old familiar tune (ATN9) with a verse for each week. Lyrics sheet
  • *Iona (M&G) / CH359 / MV033 / ZSS54 / StJ / GtG127 / ELW253 / GA293 / SFFS 2085 / G(II)276 / GC370 / GC(II)364 / G(3)429 / CP368 / W&R402 He came down that we may have love / Jesus came bringing us hope (Traditional Cameroon) The translation in "More Voices" (Jesus came bringing...) seems particularly appropriate for Advent and it could easily work as an Advent Candle lighting song. Just sing hope, love, peace or joy, depending on the week. Would be more exciting and energetic with some African drums, rather than a quiet reflective candle lighting song. Lyrics and sound samples. Good for kids.
  • VU007 / HPP109 / W&R165 / Cha132 Hope is a star that shines in the night / When God is a child (Wren) A candle lighting song with a chorus sung each week "When God is a child there's joy in our song. The last shall be first and the weak shall be strong, and none shall be afraid". Lyrics.
  • Online Resource:  Prepare the way of the Lord (King / Lowery) An upbeat song, good for kids and teenagers, I think. The verses are kind of wordy, but they're good words. Free sheet music. The verses follow the traditional advent themes of peace, hope, joy and love, so you could also sing it every Sunday of Advent. 
  • Online resource The Advent candle shines with hope (Padgett) New words for each week of Advent to a nice traditional hymn tune (MARYTON). This would go very easily in most congregations. Best sung fairly slowly. New words to old tunes. Free sheet music.
  • Online resource Kindle this flame of peace (Dillensnyder) A set of songs for Advent candle-lighting from the General Board of Discipleship of the United Methodist church. The first line is the same each weeek, and the second line changes. The tune is the same as the very familiar song "Breathe on me Breath of God". New words to old tunes. Free sheet music.
  • AoV2-123 / AoVK-59 Twilight then darkness (Porter) A lovely Advent candle song, which could be good for Northern Hemisphere people. In the Southern Hemisphere, you could possibly use this at dinner time, if you live closer to the equator than me. Darkness comes pretty late in a Melbourne Summer.
  • Linnea Good Hope is a candle This is a more upbeat song. Specific for Wintry Christmas places. 
  • *GA279 A&M56 SP019 Word of Justice / Advent Litany (Farrell) A good call and response for Advent, with many many verses. Only use a few each week. The cantor says one line, then the congregation respone "Allelulia!", the cantor again, then "Maranatha! Lyrics in English and Vietnamese!  Sound sample.
  • Online Resource Awaken us God (Garnaas-Holmes) A candle-lighting song set to what my mum calls "The American tune" for Away in a Manger. Probably good for Americans who will recognise it. New words to old tunes.. Free sheet music. 
  • Online Resource Hope is a light (Damon) A simple and quite nice Advent candle lighting song. Free sheet music.
  • SP&P088 The Universe is bending (McLeod) While not specifically an Advent candle lighting song, I think this could work for such prayers, as it is simple to change just one word every week. Lyrics.
  • Online Resource In twilight's calm and gentle space / Season of Gifts (Wiltshire) Based on the themes of GIFT: Grace Illumination Faith Transformation. Free book download.
  • MV221 I am walking a path of peace (Tissandier) A simple song for a benediction or an Advent Candle Song; words can be altered to paths of love, grace, hope, joy etc. Good for kids.
  • *MV220 Hope shines as the solitary star (Maclean) A nice song seeking personal growth and connection that reflects the love of Christ. It will need to be taught, but once taught it's easily sung. Lyrics
Anytime in Advent songs (some could also be used for candle-lighting, or sung each week as a theme song)
  • *Online Resource Come Christmas Child (Murray) A wonderful new song that fits the themes we are exploring this year: that Christ will come amid the pain and hurt that exists in the world (oh, maybe we explore that every year?). The tune is not easy - it will need to be taught, but the lyrics will make it worth the time! Lyrics and sheet music.
  • *Online Resource Drawing Nearer (Grundy) An excellent contemporary song about the lack of peace within the world and within our souls, and the desire for God to "steal our hearts - like a baby". It's great. Free sheet music. Sound sample (youtube). I would use this first by a soloist, and invite the congregation to join in as they get the hang of it.
  • Online Resource Hey Mary! (Gordon & Gordon) A lovely children's song about the annunciation. It captures the surprise and the universality of God's arrival to each of us. Youtube and sheet musicGood for kids. 
  • CH256 / VU424 / GtG765 / StF411 May the God of hope go with us every day (Schutmaat) Simple joyful song with a focus on working for peace, working with the "God of peace" who fills our lives with "love and joy and peace"; I would sing just the first verse and chorus. A good song for the end of the service; be careful it doesn't get too pedestrian or childish - think of traditional Argentinian music, which is what it is. Good for kids.
  • SP&P088 The Universe is bending (McLeod) A lovely gentle and simple song of hope for a coming world of justice, and light, and the role of the Spirit in bringing it to birth through gradual change.  
  • Online Resource Christ comes again (Hamm) Very easy to sing, and good lyrics about where Christ can be found in our everyday lives. Lyrics and sheet music.
  • *TiS 166 / AHB 102 / GA398 / StB035 Sing a new song sing a new song Excellent inclusive words from Australian poet James McAuley. All of creation waiting for the promise of God. The last verse is a bit heterosexual, which may bother some. Lyrics. 
  • *NCH121 / UMH210 / VU005 / WoV629 / ELW266 / W&R163 / Cha139 All earth is waiting / All earth is hopeful / Toda la tierra espera al Salvador (Taule) Fun Catalonian tune, good words, although the English translations vary between sources. Could be good for kids. A nice recording from Chile in Spanish. Slow and majestic organ sample and English lyrics. I particularly like this translation.
  • *TiS 265 / AHB 193 / AoV1-174 / NCH116 / CH273 / UMH211 / VU001 / LBW034 / ELW283 / GA285 / HPP92 / PH009 / GC317 / GC(II)323 / G(3)395 / CP089 / CP(E) 32 / W&R154 / Cha119 / 82Hml-056 / Lau112 / StF280 / MP493 O come O come Emmanuel (Psaleroilum Cantionum Catholicarum) A very well known ancient Advent carol. Most versions are pretty inclusive. Lyrics and sound sample. There are also two alternate versions (one by Sue Wickham and one by John Henson), set to the same tune, but with more modern lyrics and ideas. See the Facebook Group for lyrics. Oldy-but-a-goody.
  • *Music by Heart 59 Come light of lights (Cunningham) A lovely two-part chant that would be a nice meditative song for any week of Advent (and other times in the church year) "Come light of lights into my heart. Come wisdom of spirit into my heart". It can be sung quite slowly and meditatively, or more energetically and joyfully, depending on your context; it can also be split into a round! Two videos: A quick version and a slow versionSound sample. Good for kids.
  • AoVK-52 O Emmanuel, come into our hearts with 3 verses. In 2008 we sang just the chorus on Advent 1, then added one verse for each week. Verse 1 “We your people are waiting for you..” Verse 2 “ We, your people are longing for you”. Verse 3 “ We your people are ready for you”. Could use a cantor for the verse and congregation join in the chorus. Would be great with good Latin or African percussion. We sang this in 2013 during Advent, and it worked well. Good for kids.
  • *Taize / CH276 / VU22 / GtG090 / ELW262 / GtG090 / GA283 / G(II)256 / GC332 / GC(II)340 / G(3)406 / CP094 / W&R166 / PfAS037B / SP28 / URW396 / Lau088 Wait for the Lord (Berthier) Wait for the Lord whose day is near, wait for the lord, keep watch, take heart. A lovely simple Taize chant. Sheet music, translations and sound samples.
  • CH784 Come light light of God / Lumière de Dieu (Grandchamp Community) A lovely simple chant. Would be beautiful for Advent candle lighting. Simple harmonies. 
  • *MV045 Hamba nathi (Zulu) This is the song we sang during Advent 2009 for the (usually silent) procession at the start of our worship service, and we wrote verses for each week. We sang it in Zulu followed by one line in English on the repeat. Week 1: You are holy, you show us the way. Week 2: Justice is coming, prepare the way. Week 3: Singing and shouting, we're walking the way. Week 4: We're walking to freedom, come join in the song. There are a lot of other translations and variations of this song. I like "Come walk with us, the journey is long". Good for kids.
  • *MV011 / StS007 / GtG091 / GC(II)338 / G(3)405 Come, come Emmanuel / Advent gathering song (Chepponis) The simple chant is quite lovely, and the cantor soars beautifully. It could be quite formal if you like. Can work as a chant without the cantor part; you could choose particular cantor verses for each week, or even make up your own, which is what we've done at Brunswick. At other times of year it can be used with the Cantor for confession. Slow sound sample. Sheet music sample.
  • Iona (HSNW) / VU019 / A&M839 / SP326 Kindle a flame to lighten the dark and take all fear away (Iona) This song would also work well as a simple candle lighting chant during Advent in the Northern Hemisphere. Sound sample.
  • GC(II)352 / G(3)442 Gift of God O Emmanuel (Haugen) A nice chant-like refrain and Cantor line. Note that this one needs a cantor. Would be excellent for Advent and then Christmas day. Many verses which can be sung, so choose the most appropriate for your congregation or write your own. Sound sample. Sheet music sample. 
  • *MV019 Maranatha This simple chant, simply “Maranatha, Maranatha, Come Lord Jesus, come” might work well if you are having a more meditative approach to the Advent season. We used this in 2013 and 2014 and I'm not sick of it yet.
  • *ATFG 514 Emmanuel Carol / God of light we are waiting for you This is probably not one to sing every week, but is definitely worth looking at as a general resource for Advent.
  • GC324 / RS 492 Here in this world where darkness surrounds us / Come O Hope of your people / Advent Gathering (Cooney) Excellent questioning words. Cantor and response. Simple to sing, and quite beautiful "Show us your face, O promise of dawn". It's in 7/8 so it immediately appeals to me.... Sheet music sample.
  • *Seeds of Faith Prepare the Way For Love (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A good song for kids. I think it would be fun to make up additional verses for this one so it could carry through the whole of Advent. Sound sample and lyrics. BUC people, I have this book. Good for kids.
  • *AoVK-58 We wait in hope for the Lord (Ford) Simple a cappella round "We wait in hope for the Lord, God is our help and our shield. And so our hearts rejoice, for we trust in God's holy name". Good for kids.
  • *MV028 / StJ / FFS25 / GC(II)507 / G(3)587 God of the Bible / Fresh as the morning (Murray) Good words. I particularly like the tune by Alonso, as the chorus is really very wonderful. This is a song worth learning for Advent, but can be sung all through the year. I think this song would be a really good "fit" for our congregation. Lyrics, sheet music sample.
  • Tune in: We are the dream that's longing / Jesus is waiting (Brown) An honest catchy rock song about our hesitation to follow and Jesus not only waiting, but continuing to work and change the world. A good sending-out song. Come, be our liberator, bless and make us free. Come be the light upon the shore. Come be the freedom for the prison of our time. Come now and open up the door”. Lyrics, sound sample, video and songbook.
  • Tune In: Dare to Dream (Loukes) A great song about having a vision for the future, being lead by the light of Bethlehem’s star. "Dare to dream of new beginnings, Paths untried, by faith supplied".  Sound sample, lyrics, song book
  • URW424 Come Lord Jesus (Landry) An extremely simple chant that could be used in Advent.  
  • *CoC30 Look toward Christmas! (Murray) I particularly like tune (i); very joyous! A fun song looking forward to Christmas. I don’t know if it would last the distance of singing it every week before Christmas. Quite good for kids. I like the image of the angels flexing their wings! 
  • GA272 Maranatha Maranatha Come Lord Jesus Come (Wood) A good, simple Advent chant with some nice verses and prayers to go with each week.  
  • *Iona / VU33 Watch watch and pray (Iona) A very short Advent chant; could be used at various times during the service, maybe even during intercessions. Also has lyrics specific for Maundy Thursday.
  • *GC(II)326 Lead Us to Your Light (Browning) Good advent song. You could sing one verse each week, concluding with the final verse on Christmas day.  
  • GC(II)339 When the wind of winter blows (Duck) Northern Hemisphere-specific Advent song. Best if you live somewhere where it actually snows.
  • NCH782 To God all glorious heavenly light (Coffin) An Advent doxology. Can be sung to OLD HUNDRED or any other standard doxological tune. New words to old tunes. 
  • *HPP216 / GtG092 While We Are Waiting Come (Cloniger) A lovely simple chant of anticipatory praise.
  • Online Resource  The Light of Hope is breaking in / God's Adventure (Johnson) Good verses for each week of Advent, sung to the familiar tune JERUSALEM, MY HAPPY HOME. Lyrics. New words to old tunes.
  • Online Resource An ancient story told (Percival) New words to the very familiar tune LEONI, inspired by a refugee family within the author's church community. Sheet music
  • *NCH461 Let us hope when hope seems hopeless (Beebe) It's not one to sing each week, and may be simplest to sing to HYFRYDOL rather than the set tune. New words to old tunes.
Choral works
We don't usually have a choir at Brunswick, but we often pull one together at Advent. Here are a few choral ideas.  
  • Online Resource There is a yearning / The Yearning (Courtney) This is quite beautiful, and will appeal to a range of congregations, as it can be interpreted quite broadly. It has arrangements both for SATB and TTBB choirs. Sheet music & sound sample.
  • Iona Lullaby Lullaby God comes tomorrow / Advent Lullaby (Bell) Just gorgeous. This is not necessarily a choral work - it could also be sung by a (clever) congregation, or the congregation could sing one part, accompanied by a choir. Sound sample
 Advent Blessings
  • SP&P201 Peace peace deep peace (Thomas) A very simple benediction, that could also work well as a blessing to someone who is leaving the congregation. Could be used creatively in Advent - by changing the verses each week (Peace, Love, Joy and Hope)

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Songs to welcome new church members

At Brunswick Uniting we have a special service twice a year to welcome new people to our community. Those who want to be part of the community (but who may not necessarily be seeking membership by baptism, confirmation or a confession of faith) are invited to name Brunswick as their community of faith.

*CH198 / MV001 / GC753 / GC(II)741 / RS 846 Let Us Build a House / All are welcome (Haugen / TWO OAKS) This song has wonderful lyrics of hope for what a Christian community can be like, and a chorus that joyfully says “All are welcome, all are welcome, all are welcome in this place”. Sheet music sample. Sound sample. Lyrics (scroll down a little).
*MV 145 / CP418 / SP&P123 Draw the circle wide (Light) A great song about welcoming all people. Lyrics (downloads a Word document). Chorus is “Draw the circle wide, draw it wider still. Let this be our song, no-one stands alone, standing side by side, draw the circle wide”.
*Online Resource: Welcome to this circle (Bruxvoort-Colligan) A lovely song of “radical inclusivity” which is kind of what our welcoming service is about. This song is more a promise coming from the congregation that welcomes all regardless of their level of faith. We’ve sung this a couple of times at welcoming services already. Youtube. Sheet music available here.
*Tune In: Community (Brown) “Part of a fam’ly, interconnected, this is community”. A big favourite at Brunswick. Excellent words and very easy to sing; really good for a welcoming service. Sound sample, lyrics and songbook available here.