The Season of Advent – 57.1

These liturgical texts and music suggestions are appropriate for use throughout the Season of Advent and may be repeated from week to week.

Confession and Lament Sequence

Together let us confess our sin and lament the ways
in which we have been separated from God, praying:

Merciful God,
as we watch and wait for signs of your expansive love,
forgive our narrow thinking.
As we repent in the wilderness with John,
we confess that we often lack the imagination
to testify to the coming light.
As we visit the home of Elizabeth,
we lament our loss of wonder
and our failure to recognize miracles among us.

Even as we hear the witness of the angels and the shepherds,
we confess that we do not make haste to go and see the Christ.
Forgive our apathy and small-mindedness.
When the wait is over and all is finished,
open our minds to recognize the strength and wisdom of Christ,
God with us.

Hear this good news: in Christ there is strength and wisdom,
expansive love and everlasting grace.
We are forgiven and transformed
to go and proclaim the wonder
of the one who is coming.

Invitation to Discipleship

The invitation to follow Christ
is filled with hope, peace, joy, and love.
There is hope:
a new journey with Christ brings transformation.
There is peace:
in Christ, the old has passed away and the new can now emerge.
There is joy:
nothing in life or in death can separate us from the love of God in Jesus Christ.
There is love:
God so loved the world that God became human in Jesus, our savior.
Now is the time to respond to God’s love
and accept the invitation to follow this Christ.
Be filled with hope, peace, joy, and love!

Congregational Song in Advent

A change in liturgical seasons creates opportunities to use congregational responses unique to the season or to repeat liturgical responses set to new and different music. Following are suggestions for use during the Season of Advent.

Songs with refrains might be sung refrain only, or stanzas might be used week to week either sequentially or cumulatively.

Lighting of the Advent Wreath

  • Come, Come Emmanuel GTG 91
  • God Is Our Help, Refuge, and Strength GTG 380
  • The Lord Is My Light GTG 842
  • Bless the Lord GTG 544
  • Come Now, O Prince of Peace GTG 103
  • He Came Down GTG 137
  • Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus (STUTTGART) GTG 83
  • Prepare the Way of the Lord GTG 95
  • Prepare the Way, O Zion (different stanzas week by week, then all 3 on Advent IV) GTG 106
  • People, Look East (refrain only, as an echo/call-and-response) GTG 105
  • Muéstranos, Señor/Lord, Let Us See Your Kindness SSS 70
  • Restáuranos, oh Dios/Restore Us, O God (refrain only or with stanzas) SSS 72
  • Preparen el camino/Make Ready a Highway (refrain only or with stanzas) SSS 76
  • Christmas Is Coming Innkeepers and Light Sleepers, Wild Goose Publications

These songs might be used in different ways within a Confession-Pardon liturgy, as part of the Call to Confession, the Prayer of Confession, or as a bridge from Confession to Pardon.


  • Comfort, Comfort Now My People (different stanzas week by week, then all 3 on Advent IV) GTG 87
  • Be Still and Know That I Am God GTG 414
  • O Come unto the Lord (refrain only or with stanza 2) GTG 416
  • Forgive Us, Lord/Perdón, Señor GTG 431
  • God Is Our Help, Refuge, and Strength GTG 380
  • Listen, God Is Calling GTG 456
  • Give Us Light GTG 467
  • Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior, stanza 1 UMH 351, AAHH 435
  • Over My Head AAHH 169
  • I Will Trust in the Lord AAHH 391


  • Glory to God/Gloria, gloria GTG 583
  • Glory, Glory, Glory GTG 584
  • Glory to God/Gloria a Dios GTG 585
  • In the Lord I’ll Be Ever Thankful GTG 654
  • Do Not Be Afraid (different stanzas week by week, then all 3 on Advent IV) GTG 76
  • Peace of God Be with You GTG 448
  • Dona nobis pacem GTG 752


Anthems for Children’s Choirs in Advent

  • “A Waiting Carol,” Helen Kemp, CGA, uni/2 pt, pno, hd, opt rec or fl (E)
  • “Come, Come Emmanuel,” Lynn Shaw Bailey and Becki Slagle Mayo, CGA, uni, pno, opt hb or hc (E)
  • “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” Can’t Wait to Sing, Vicki Hancock Wright, CGA, uni, pno, opt hc, güiro, and fc (E)
  • “Gloria in Excelsis,” Dan R. Edwards, CGA, 2 pt, pno, opt perc (MA)
  • “Let Every Heart Prepare a Throne,” Mark Patterson, CGA, uni, pno (ME)
  • “Mary, Mary,” Michael Burkhardt, CGA, 2 pt, pno, opt hb or hc (ME)
  • “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,” Margaret R. Tucker, CGA, uni/2 pt, org, opt cong, opt ob and hb (M)
  • “O Come, O Come, Immanuel,” Natalie Sleeth, CGA, uni/opt desc, pno (E)
  • “Prepare a Way for the Lord!” Seven Songs for the Church Year, Michael Bedford, uni, pno (E)
  • “Savior of the Nations, Come,” Christmas Songs from Around the World, Michael Burkhardt and Rhonda Grobe, 2 pt, opt Orff inst (E)
  • “Sing a Song of Advent,” Hal Hopson, CGA, uni/2 pt, pno, opt fl, hb, cong (ME)

Anthems for Youth Choirs in Advent

  • “In the Bleak Midwinter,” Robert Powell, GIA, SAB, pno, vln, vc (ME)
  • “Come, Messiah, Come,” Lynn Shaw Bailey and Becki Slagle Mayo, CGA, 2 pt, pno, fl (E)
  • “O Magnum Mysterium,” Evan Ramos, BRI, SAB, acap (ME)
  • “People, Look East,” John Leavitt, HAL, SAB, pno (M)
  • “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” Mark Miller, CGA, SAB, pno (ME)
  • “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” Carlton R. Young, AF, SAB, hb, fc (ME)
  • “Creator of the Stars of Night,” Andrew Bruhn, AF, 2 pt, keybd (E)

Piano Music in Advent

  • “The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came,” GABRIEL’S MESSAGE, The Essential Collection for Christmas, Larry Shackley, HOPE (MA)
  • “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” HYFRYDOL, Seasonal Sunday Solos for Piano, HAL (ME)
  • “Comfort, Comfort Now My People,” GENEVAN 42, The Essential Collection for Christmas, Larry Shackley, HOPE (A)
  • “Good King Wenceslas,” TEMPUS ADEST FLORIDUM, Christmas Expressions, Joel Raney, HOPE (A)
  • “The Holly and the Ivy / O Christmas Tree Medley,” Christmas Memories, Book 3, Melody Bober, ALF (M)
  • “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” PICARDY, Visions of Noel, Vicki Collinsworth, LOR (A)
  • “Lo! He Comes with Clouds Descending,” HELMSLEY, The Church Pianist’s Library, vol. 23, Terry Osman, LOR (MA)
  • “Lo, How a Rose,” ES IST EIN’ ROS’, Carols A to Z, Janet Vogt, LOR (MA)
  • “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel / Born That We May Have Life,” Medleys for Blended Worship: Complete Collection, Carol Tornquist, ALF (M)
  • “Of the Father’s Love Begotten,” DIVINUM MYSTERIUM, Advent, Mark Hayes, LOR (MA)
  • “‘Sleepers, Wake!’ A Voice Astounds Us,” WACHET AUF, Emmanuel Shall Come, Gilbert Martin, LOR (MA)

Vocal Solos in Advent

  • “I Am Light,”, India Arie (E)
  • “My Lord, What a Mornin’,” The Spirituals of Harry T. Burleigh, H. T. Burleigh, BMP (ME)
  • “Ave Maria,” Sing Solo Christmas, René Atkinson, OUP (M)
  • “Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus,” 10 Hymns and Gospel Songs for Solo Voice, Mark Hayes, ALF (ME)
  • “Comfort ye . . . Ev’ry valley shall be exalted,” Messiah, G. F. Handel, NOV, tenor (A)
  • “What You Goin’ to Name the Baby?” The Story of the Spirituals, Edward Boatner, BMP (M)
  • “Mary’s Soliloquy,” What Child Is This? A Christmas Songbook for Voice and Piano, Cecil Effinger, GSH (M)
  • “Rejoice Greatly, O Daughter of Zion,” Messiah, G. F. Handel, NOV, sop (A)
  • “Willkommen, werther Schatz,” Cantata No. 36, Schwingt freudig euch empor, J. S. Bach, bass, BV (A)
  • “Bewundert, o Menschen,” Cantata No. 62, Nun komm, der Heiden Heiland, J. S. Bach, tenor, BV (A)