Advent CDs?

Does anyone know of any cds of Advent songs, not Christmas music? Since becoming a mom a few years ago I’ve started trying to put more of an emphasis on Advent as preparing for Christmas, and holding off on Christmas music and decorations until later in the month. I’d love to find a cd that I could play in the car when all the radio stations start Christmas music, but I’ve never seen any.

Several years ago I remember something on EWTN about a CD of Advent music, only one song on it being O Come O Come Emmanuel. I think it may have been a group of singing priests who made it, but even that detail is fuzzy and I don’t have any others. But at least know that what you are looking for is out there somewhere.

Okay, I found one CD but can’t find any way to actually purchase it. So, instead of looking for a CD, I’m now looking for suggestions of good Advent songs that I can (hopefully) find mp3s of and build my own. I know of On Jordan’s Bank, O Come O Come Emmanuel, Lo How a Rose, and People Look East–what else should I search for?

I am glad I’m not the only one searching for strictly Advent music. My search has led me to a few CDs.

The first a great CD called “Advent Carols from St. John’s” recorded by the St. John’s College Choir at Cambridge. It includes lessons and carols, but if you want it with only the music and not the readings, you could simply burn a new copy with those removed. They sing some of my favourite Advent carols, including Adam Lay Ybounden, A Spotless Rose, There is No Rose, a nice setting of Ave Maria, the O Antiphons, which give root to O Come, O Come Emmanuel, and more.

The Sixteen & Harry Christophers also have a recording called “A Traditional Christmas Carol Collection, Vol. II” that is primarily Advent music, as opposed to Volume I which is primarily Christmas music. It is recorded beautifully and I highly recommend it.

Finally, there are a number of CDs which work their way from Advent to Christmas. The first half of many of these can be played until the third or fourth weeks of Advent and then transition into the entire CD. One beautiful example is “Carols from Advent to Christmas” by the Marlborough College Chapel Choir. Their version of ‘Jesus Christ the Apple Tree’ is particularly gorgeous.

I hope that helps! Please respond if you find something else that’s great.

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