Songs That Work Well for Advent

This past Sunday was the first Sunday in Advent. Advent is based off of the Latin word “adventus” and literally means “coming.” We are expectantly awaiting the celebration of Jesus’ coming on Christmas, and we’re expectantly awaiting his coming in glory. It’s a very cool season and provides congregations several weeks to express our cries of “how long?” Not only “how long until we can finally sing Christmas carols and open presents?” but “how long until you finally come back, Jesus?”

Two years ago I wrote some posts on songs that work well in Advent.

The first post had to do with “what to do with Advent” and some good hymns to sing. The second post had suggestions of newer, more contemporary songs that work congregationally. The third post had a couple of songs that worked as special/not congregational songs.

Here are some other songs I’ve become aware of that might work during Advent.

“Soon” (Brooke Ligertwood)
—Slow, tender song about when we will finally see Jesus.
—Either a congregational song or a solo, but probably better as a solo.
—“Soon and very soon, my King is coming, clothed in righteousness and crowned with love…”
—You can listen to the whole song, read the lyrics and download the music here.

“All to Us” (Redman/Maher/Reeves/Tomlin)
—Slow/midtempo song.
—Either as a congregational song or a solo.
—The recorded key of C is too high. I find A to be better.
—“We are waiting on you, Jesus.” “When this passing world is over, we will see You face to face …”
—You can listen to the whole song, read the lyrics and download the sheet music for free here.

“We Belong to the Day” (Mike Morrow)
—Midtempo song.
—Either as a congregational song or a solo.
—“We belong to the day, to the day that is to come when the night falls away and our Savior will return…”
—Bob Kauflin featured this song on Worship Matters recently and linked to free downloads of the recording and the music.

“How Long? (The Reckoning)” (Andrew Peterson)
—An upbeat song of lament/longing for Jesus to return.
—From his excellent CD Counting Stars.
—Would work as a special (not congregational) song.
—“How long until this curtain is lifted? How long is this the song that we sing? How long until the reckoning?”
—Justin Taylor at The Gospel Coalition featured this song last year. Click here to listen to the song and read the lyrics.

“God With Us” (Jamie Brown)
—Slow song.
—OK, I wasn’t going to share this song because (a) the recording is awful and (b) I don’t want to push my own stuff. But, hey, it’s free, you don’t have to like it and if it’s helpful, then great.
—The verses describe different people and situations that look hopeless, but actually “God with us,” Jesus, is right there in the middle.
—Would work as a special (not congregational) song.
—A female vocalists should sing the response part in the chorus. But again, this recording is so bad, from several years ago, that I tried to take care of both parts.

In the long, cold winter of waiting
Every day a new door is closed
No job for so long and no money
Every letter, every call, a new “no”
God with us

She has cried, she has prayed for a husband
Still she lies in her bed all alone
Every Christmas, every birthday, every morning
Every baby—another one that’s not her own
God with us

Surely he has borne our griefs (God with us)
He has carried all our sorrows (God with us)
His chastisement brought us peace (God with us)
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
God with us

He has lost his ability to fight it
It has stained every corner of his mind
He is drowning in the darkness in private
Every click—a step back from his bride
God with us (chorus)

The baby in her womb is not her husband’s
They have fled from their home to hide
But she believes what the angel told her
That she would bear the Son of the Most High: God with us

Surely he will bear our griefs (God with us)
He will carry all our sorrows (God with us)
His chastisement will bring us peace (God with us)
Yesterday, today and tomorrow
God with us  

Jamie Brown. © 2011 Worthily Magnify Music. CCLI Song # 6026949.
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Jamie was born and raised in Florida as a preacher’s kid. Since age 14, he has been leading worship pretty much every Sunday of his life, experiencing all of the joys and trials of church ministry. For over 10 years, Jamie has been writing at his blog, Worthily Magnify, in the hopes of helping worship leaders lead better. In 2006, Jamie married Catherine, and they now have four wonderful kids: Megan, Emma, Callie, and Jacob, who keep them busy, laughing, praying, and very grateful to God.