The Light Shines in the Darkness

by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.D.

Resources for Liturgy and Prayer
for the Seasons of
Advent and Christmas

[Updated with Resources for 2020-2021]

The Nativity of Our Lord

The ADVENT Season:

Advent is the liturgical season that precedes and prepares for Christmas. It is a season of hope and of longing, of joyful expectation and of peaceful preparation. Many symbols and traditions are associated with Advent, especially the Advent Wreath with its four colored candles (three purple and one pink), but also Advent calendars, special Advent music, food, processions, and other traditions that may vary from one culture or region to the next. Here are a few interesting things to know about Advent:

Advent Music:

In addition to the countless songs, carols, and hymns for Christmas (see for example "Christmas Songs and Hymns"), there is also much good, thematically appropriate music for Advent,
not just "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" (which really ought to be saved for the last eight days of Advent - click here to learn why).

Traditional Hymns and Chants Contemporary Songs and Albums

Click the above titles for lyrics and/or tunes,
from or

  • A Voice Cries Out (Michael Joncas)
  • Advent Alleluia (Michael Joncas)
  • Advent Gathering (Gary Daigle)
  • Advent Gathering Rite (Francis O'Brien)
  • Advent Gathering Song (James Chepponis)
  • Advent Suite (John Michael Talbot)
  • Alleluia! Hurry, the Lord is Near (Ernest Sands)
  • Awake to the Day (Ed Bolduc & John Barker)
  • Benedictus Qui Venit (Taize)
  • Beyond the Moon and Stars (Dan Schutte)
  • By Heart: Seasonal Songs (Tony Alonso / Gabe Huck)
  • Christ, Circle Round Us (Dan Schutte)
  • City of God, Jerusalem (Christopher Idle)
  • Come, Lord Jesus (M. D. Ridge)
  • Comfort, My People (Ian Callanan)
  • Each Winter As the Year Grows Older (William & Annabeth Gay)
  • Emmanuel (Steve Angrisano)
  • Every Valley Shall Be Exalted (Bob Dufford, SJ)
  • Gift of God, O Emmanuel (Marty Haugen)
  • God Comes Tomorrow (John Bell)
  • I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light (Kathleen Thomerson)
  • Lectionary Psalms for Advent/Christmas (C. Kelly)
  • Let the King of Glory Come (Michael Joncas)
  • Let the Valleys Be Raised (Dan Schutte)
  • Like a Bird (Delores Dufner)
  • Like A Shepherd (Bob Dufford, SJ)
  • Like Winter Waiting (John Foley, SJ)
  • Lord Emmanuel, Come (Peter McGrail)
  • Lord, Make Us Turn to You (Leon C. Roberts)
  • Maranatha (Gerard Chiusano)
  • Maranatha (Tim Schoenbachler)
  • Maranatha (G. Westphal)
  • Maranatha, Come (Francis Patrick O'Brien)
  • Maranatha! Come, Lord Jesus (Janet Sullivan Whitaker)
  • Maranatha, Lord Messiah (Kathy Powell)
  • My Soul in Stillness Waits (Marty Haugen)
  • Now the Day of the Lord Is at Hand (Richard Proulx)
  • O Day of Peace (Carl Daw)
  • Patience, People (John Foley, SJ)
  • Prepare! Prepare! (Stephen Pishner)
  • Prepare the Way of the Lord (Taize)
  • Prince of Peace (Dan Schutte)
  • Ready the Way of the Lord (Bob Hurd)
  • Ready the Way (Curtis Stephan)
  • Stay Awake, Be Ready (Christopher Walker)
  • Take Comfort, God's People (Robert Kreuz)
  • The Advent of Our God (James Hansen)
  • The King of Glory (Willard Jabusch)
  • The Whole World Is Waiting for Love (Marianne Misetich)
  • Tryin' to Get Ready (Janèt Sullivan Whitaker)
  • Vigil: Christmas (Tom Conry)
  • Wait for the Lord (Taizé)
  • Waiting in Silence (Carey Landry)
  • Warm the Time of Winter (Ruth Duck & Lori True)
  • We Shall Prepare (Mark Friedman / Janet Vogt)
Full Albums of Advent Music



Christmas is the annual feast commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, a little over 2000 years ago. For Christians, it is not just a single day (Dec. 25), but an extended liturgical season of joy and celebration, involving many different symbols and traditions, special music and activities, which vary significantly among different countries and cultures. Here are a few interesting things to know about Christmas:

Biblical and Liturgical RESOURCES for Advent and Christmas:

Related Resources on This Website:

Annual Publications for Advent and Christmas:

Other Recommended Publications for Advent and Christmas:

Online and Multi-Media Resources for Advent and Christmas:


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This page was last updated on December 11, 2020
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