Advent (Not Yet Christmas) Carols

On this Second Sunday of Advent 2021, I looked back on a video I recorded for my Theology students near the beginning of last Advent – as we moved into the first Pandemic Winter.


If you watch the video above, you’ll hear one of my deepest convictions – that we need to celebrate Advent by recognizing that it’s NOT YET Christmas. Besides the colors, candles and collects (liturgy beginning prayers) of the season, we also have carols – Advent ones!

Surely the most familiar one is O Come O Come Emanuel. I’ll write more about it as we get closer to Christmas and the Church begins to pray the O Antiphons on December 17th.

If you’re as moved by this central Advent carol as much as I am, do check out this episode of the podcast Hark! by America Media.

If you’re not familiar with the Jesuit America Media, you can easily link directly to their daily Advent reflection.

Before I share my Spotify Advent carol playlist with you, a few words about where/how I discovered these particular songs.

Perhaps you worship with a community which sings a variety of songs during this holy season. My parish does and, after paying attention year after year, I’ve discovered quite a few carols and hymns connected to the spirit of the Advent season.

Earlier today during the 9am mass, the cantor at my church led us in this song during the recessional:


I intentionally chose this particular video as it illustrates the way most choirs sang this time last year. Sadly, as the omicron variant raises new concerns this year, many Christmas concerts will be performed for a second year in this distanced, virtual manner.

Here’s my Spotify playlist which I hope you’ll enjoy:


A quick word about how my playlist is organized. The traditional songs are closest to the top. I chose two or three versions of each of these and placed them back to back. The more modern songs are further down the list. So, if you don’t want to hear the same song (albeit a different version) in a row, I recommend that you use the “shuffle” feature!

If you’d like a different (and much shorter) playlist, check out this one from America Media – An Advent playlist featuring David Bowie, Joni Mitchell and, yes, Chance the Rapper

Let’s end with another version of today’s recessional song seen/heard in a video posted in December 2013. Such better way of performing (sadly today though it would be profoundly COVID risky) than the Zoom-choir seen above.


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