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Blog Post #47: The Sounds of the Season

Advent | Advent Music | Liturgical Season | Jesus | Hope | Prepare

December 1, 2020 by Kristen (Kurivial) Hug

What are the songs that sing in your head during this season designed to prepare your soul for our Savior?

 Below is a list of seven of my favorite Advent tunes! Allow these melodies to minister to your mind and these lyrics to find their way to your sacred center where they can teach you the true meaning of the Advent Season.

Without further ado, let’s jump in!

1. "Ready the Way" by Curtis Stephan

This repetitive song resonates the message of readying our hearts for the Lord by reflecting on two verses from the book of Isaiah chapter 40 verses 3 and 4a.

These verses, set to music, remind us to ready the way but they do not leave us to trudge through on our own. Each verse tells us how we should go about preparing our souls. The first verse implores us to turn away from sin. The second verse encourages us to walk in the Lord’s truth. And the third verse invites us to share God’s mercy and grace. These are three excellent ways to make room in our hearts for our Messiah.

Taking them a step further with three calls to action: 1) Turn away from sin by receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation, 2) Focus on God’s truth by delving more deeply into His Word, 3) Participate in the Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy.

2. "Emmanuel" by Steve Angrisano

Putting a different spin on a popular Advent ditty, this Emmanuel instills an excitement about the coming of Christ with the phrase "salvation is drawing near." Did you get that line? "Salvation is drawing near!" Does that phrase mean anything to you?

It should! We should have excitement and joy about the fact that even in death our lives are not over, and, in fact, our greatest journey has only begun! And all because a child was born, a son was given, and His name is Emmanuel, “God with Us.” This fact calls for another chorus of this exciting refrain!

3. "Come to Us" by Steve Angrisano

"Come to Us" is one of my favorite songs of all time and since it is an Advent song through and through, you can bet it is playing at our house! This sweet and simple song captures the wonder and awe of God becoming man. As the first verse says, “for a world of despair awaits that hopeful night.”

Because of that night in Bethlehem none of our lives will ever be the same. One night changed everything. One life changed everything. This is a message that should fill our hearts with hope, and not a wishful thinking kind of hope, but an assured hope that we have a God who loves us so much, He became one of us.

4. "Jesus Hope of the World" by Paul Tate 

Another Advent favorite! This sacred song illuminates the beautiful Catholic belief of Jesus’ True Presence in the Eucharist. It is artistically articulated in the lyric, “…here we await You, O Master Divine. Here we receive You in Bread and in Wine: Jesus, hope of the world.”

We are beyond blessed as Catholics to receive Jesus into our very bodies for the fullest communion we will share with Him until we are together in Heaven. This Advent Season, do not walk, but run to the Sacrament of the Altar to receive, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity Our Jesus, who is the one and only hope of the world!

5. "Jesus, Meek and Humble" by Ben Walther and Sarah Hart

These two Ohio natives, Ben Walther and Sarah Hart, took the whole of Jesus’ life and summarized it in these four reverent refrains. The first verse in particular speaks to the Advent Season now among us when it says, “Jesus, meek and humble, Heaven’s gift to earth, Word from Word among us, spoken from the first. Song of our salvation, rising from the fall. Jesus, meek and humble, Heaven’s hope for all.”

These lines remind me of our Savior being born in the cold of a cave. (Yes, many, like the 2nd Century Saint, Justin Martyr, stated that Jesus was born in a cave outside of Bethlehem.) Talk about the most humble of beginnings. The most important person in the history of ever was born in a cold cave and was laid in a manger. It is devastatingly beautiful. And all the while this was happening, the angels in Heaven sang God’s praise!

6. "Emmanuel" by Amy Grant

This is an Advent classic in the Kurivial household! The day after Thanksgiving this music always made us move about as if ushering in the Advent season jazzercise-style! Listen to this upbeat anthem and allow it to move your heart closer to the Holy One, Emmanuel!

7. "O Come O Come Emmanuel"

To end our list, I come to a traditional hymn that is hauntingly hopeful. I say hauntingly hopeful because it is a lament. However, it is not a lament devoid of hope. It is a lament that cries out for salvation.

And in the end, we know, Emmanuel does come, and because of His coming, we are saved. Experience the range of human agony and triumph in this version of "O Come O Come Emmanuel" by Lorraine Doan and Sean McCleery.

I hope this list has inspired you to allow Advent its due time and that these hymns will help your heart prepare room for our Savior, Messiah, Our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Happy Adventing!

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