Thursday, November 17, 2011

Favorite Find: Advent Music

A couple of years ago, a local radio station began a tradition of playing Christmas music 24 hours a day, starting around November 10 until Christmas Day.  I love Christmas music, but this didn't feel right to me. November 10 was too early for the exuberant, joyful tunes of Christmas.  I yearned for quieter music that would help me ponder the wonderful gift that God gave us.

So began my search for "Advent music."  It wasn't an easy one!  Sadly, there isn't a lot of music for Advent, except perhaps for some beautiful Gregorian chants. 

However, I discovered two CDs which have become family favorites:

Like Winter Waiting: The Advent Story by John Foley, S.J.
Produced by OCP Publications, this is a musical story about key Biblical events surrounding the birth of Christ. Different actors play the roles of Mary, Joseph, Zechariah, Elizabeth, the Angel Gabriel and other characters. It gives listeners a peek into the feelings and emotions that these various characters may have felt while experiencing the amazing changes that were occurring in their lives.

Tracks include a welcome/introduction from the Angel Gabriel, Zechariah and Simon talking about the pregnancy of Elizabeth, the Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary, Joseph pondering the angel's message about Mary's pregnancy, Joseph and Mary's trip to Bethlehem via donkey, the birth of Christ and the visit by the shepherds to the stable.  My children's favorite song on the CD is "Unless You Lead Me On," a joyful song by the donkey about the need to have God in its life.  You can hear samples of the songs here.

We Shall Prepare: An Advent Cantata for Young People by Mark Friedman and Janet Vogt
Also produced by OCP Publications, this CD is almost like an audio "Jesse Tree."  It includes songs about Noah, Moses, King David and Jonah, then moves on to songs about Mary, Bethlehem and the birth of Christ. There are many wonderful upbeat songs on this CD!  Our favorites include "Get On the Boat," about Noah; "Moses, Set Them Free," about God's call to Moses to bring the Hebrews out of Egypt. 

For those who teach in a Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atrium, several songs would be very appropriate for Advent lessons, including "Wonderful Counselor," which corresponds to the meditation of  Isaiah 9:5 and helps children understand the various titles given to Jesus; and "Little Bethlehem," which corresponds to the Biblical geography lesson about Bethlehem and the meditation of Micah 5:1.

You can hear samples of this CD here. 

Do you have any favorite Advent music?  I would love to hear about it! 


  1. Cheryl, thanks for posting the links so we can hear some of the songs. i love the second one, and will be ordering it!! Thansk for sharing.

  2. Cheryl,

    Thank you for sharing these.

    I have an Advent playlist, which I posted on my blog. Although all of the pieces are not strictly Advent music, they all contribute to the quiet, reflective atmosphere that I find myself craving during this season.


  3. Gardenia,

    The second one is our favorite of the two, and the ones that my kids ask me to play throughout the year. (But I usually won't, as I want to give them something to look forward to when Advent rolls around.) Hope your daughter likes it as much as my kids!

    Mamatigerj, I'll check out your blog for your Advent playlist. Would love some ideas for more quiet music.

  4. Thank you for posting these Advent music suggestions! I agree, finding Advent music is difficult but if we all put our heads together we might come up with a decent list. Also, thanks for following my blog :) I've added yours to music google reader to get your updates as well.

    Pax Christi!

  5. Hi Cheryl, that is wonderful to learn that you can buy Advent music specifically. I too, have been hearing Christmas music on our local radio station and it feels wrong. It's too early! Which is why I turn the station! Thanks for the link.

  6. Hi Cheryl~ Thanks for this great tip on Advent music--love it! I also will order the 2nd one since I saw that one is your favorite:) Have a very blessed and peaceful Advent.

  7. I'm always on the look out for good Advent music. These look promising!

    Thanks for joining the Nativity Carnival for Nov 13th, this week's is up, too!

  8. Now that we're in Advent, I've started listening to some Christmas music. However, I do like music specific to Advent.

    Thanks for the lovely comment on my first Advent music post. I'd love to see you join in on the meme with this post. Just sign on the linky for the weekly meme post ( and feel free to participate as often as you'd like.

    Laura O in AK