Your Favorite Catholic Advent Hymns

Creator Of The Stars Of Night “Alme Siderum” (Traditional Advent Hymn)
Advent Hymn from Ambrosian, 6th or 7th Century

  1. Conditor alme siderum,
    aeterna lux credentium,
    Christe, redemptor omnium,
    exaudi preces supplicum.

  2. Qui condolens interitu
    mortis perire saeculum,
    salvasti mundum languidum,
    donans reis remedium.

  3. Vergente mundi vespere,
    uti sponsus de thalamo,
    egressus honestissima
    Virginis matris clausula.

  4. Cuius forti potentiae
    genu curvantur omnia;
    caelestia, terrestria
    nutu fatentur subdita.

  5. Te, Sancte, fide quaesumus,
    venture iudex saeculi,
    conserva nos in tempore
    hostis a telo perfidi.

  6. Sit, Christe, rex piissime,
    tibi Patrique gloria
    cum Spiritu Paraclito,
    in sempiterna saecula. Amen.

  7. Creator of the stars of night,
    Thy people’s everlasting Light;
    Jesu, Redeemer, save us all,
    And hear thy servants when they call.

  8. Thou, grieving that the ancient curse
    Should doom to death an universe,
    Hast found the med’cine, full of grace,
    To save and heal a ruin’d race.

  9. Thou cam’st, the Bridegroom of the Bride,
    As drew the world to evening-tide;
    Proceeding from a Virgin shrine,
    The spotless Victim all divine.

  10. At whose dread Name, majestic now,
    All knees must bend, all hearts must bow
    And things celestial thee shall own,
    And things terrestrial, Lord alone.

  11. O thou, whose coming is with dread
    To judge and doom the quick and dead,
    Preserve us, while we dwell below,
    From ev’ry insult of the foe.

  12. To God the Father, God the Son,
    And God the Spirit, Three in One,
    Laud, honour, might, and glory be
    From age to age eternally. Amen.

For many traditional Catholics, Advent would not be Advent if introducted by any other hymn. It is well nigh impossible for even the best of poets to find a formula that really corresponds to the first line of the Latin text. The Latin “sidus” (“siderium”) means more than just a “star.” It includes the stars in the heavens, and of course, also the sun, moon, planets and all the heavenly constellations and comets and meteors. These are the cosmic elements that appear in later stanzas of the hymn. For the ancients, these mysterious heavenly bodies that moved about and that had their seasonal cycles of waxing and wanning and that in some unfathomable way could affect he course of human destiny. Indeed; in a manner of speaking within the celestial plane, these heavenly bodies were perhaps living beings.

The opening line of this Advent hymn should make us think of the great array of all the powerful cosmic bodies that figure in those Eschatological texts of scripture where the whole of the created universe responds to the presence of God. The point of reference is not some lovely nightfall scene studied with gentle glimmering stars, but rather that “Great Day” when (“the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give her light, the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven will be shaken”) (Matthew 24:29). Indeed, this Advent hymn, if we really look at it, is something of a “Dies irae” in a less strident mode.

In stanza three, the world’s evening draws to a close. If we recognize in the last three lines of this stanza the allusion to verse six of Psalm 19, the verse that occurs so frequently in the Christmastide cycle: (“And He; as a bridegroom coming forth from the bridal chamber, rejoices as a giant to run his course”) So just when the world seems doomed to certain extinction, the Sun comes forth in a blaze of light and begins its paschal journey across the whole of human life and experience.
This imagery is especially appropriate towards the beginning of the First Sunday of Advent and into the beginning of December, when nights are growing progressively longer and longer, until upon the arrival of the Winter Solstice just before the Solemnity of Christmas, then the inexorable onslaught of darkness is reversed with the Birth of Christ, the Sun of Justice, who now begins to run His course over the whole of our existence.

Advent Reflection by the late Father Chrysogonus Waddell, OCSO, Cistercian monk of Gethsemani Abbey, in Trappist, Kentucky U.S.A.

Traditional Favorites:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus
People, Look East
O Come, Divine Messiah
Wake, O Wake, and Sleep No Longer
Comfort, Comfort, O My People
The Advent of Our King
See How the Virgin Waits
The Coming of Our God
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates
Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming

Contemporary Favorites:

Alleluia! Hurry, the Lord Is Near Sands
Waiting in Silence Landry
Maranatha G. Westphal
Every Valley Dufford

There’s a contemporary version of “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” by Steve Angrisano, and it’s called “Emmanuel”. I kind of like it, and then I kind of don’t. Probably because it’s a rip-off of the traditional and beautiful chant. We get to sing both of them next Sunday, and I can’t wait to sing the original!

My favourite too.

Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming, so seldom heard nowdays.

To me, O Come Emanuel should not be sung until Dec 16 or 17 when the O antiphons begin. to be nitpicky

also, People Look East, which I have not heard in church in 40 years

Rorate Coeli

Greetings to those posting and or reading this thread,

When I think of this hymn, somethig inside me imagines Mary singing this to Jesus while He is still in Her Immaculate Womb. I can almost hear the longing as she prays for us and yearns for His coming as well. The melody is haunting and pulls at something deep inside that is yet longing for His second Advent. Lord come quickly.

O come, O come Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice, rejoice. Emmanuel. Shall Come to thee, O Israel.

O come Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightly,
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
Who to they tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times didst give the law,
In cloud and majesty and awe.

O Come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
From every foe deliever them
that trust they mighty pow’r to save,
And give them victry o’er the grave.

O Come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.

O Come, Thou Dayspring from on high
And chher us by they drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s deark shadow put to flight.

O Come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all humankind;
Bid thou our sad divisions cease,
And be thyself our Prince of Peace.

Of course nothing can substitute for the hymn in Latin. :slight_smile:

God Bless.
Anathama Sit


It always gives me goosebumps. So Jewish and yet … it’s ours too.

I also like O Come O Come Emmanuel–that’s my favorite–the music is amazing!


Greetings TheRealJuliane,

Indeed. What a rich heritage is ours, the Children of Holy Mother Church.

God Bless.
Anathama Sit



Refrain: Gaudete! gaudete!
Christus est natus ex Maria virgine,

Tempus adest gratiae, hoe quod optabamus;
carmina laetitiae devote reddamus.

Deus homo factus est, natura mirante;
mundus renovatus est a Christo regnante.

Ezecaelis orta clausa per transistur;
unde lux est orta, salus invenitur.

Ergo nostra contio psallat iam in lustro;
Benedicat Domino; salus regi nostro.

I think that “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” can go back and forth between an Advent and Christmas hymn. I think that if you use it as an Advent hymn, it should be sung either on the Third or Fourth Sunday. I never heard this hymn in my parish before, but this Advent we are doing it! I’m excited!

We’re also doing “People, Look East” on the Third Sunday of Advent, I believe. That’s a great carol.

Alma Redemptoris Mater

Alma Redemptoris Mater,
quae pervia caeli porta manes,
Et stella maris,
succurre cadenti
surgere qui curat populo:
Tu quae genuisti,
natura mirante,
tuum sanctum Genitorem:
Virgo prius ac posterius,
Gabrielis ab ore
sumens illud Ave,
peccatorum miserere.

Another one of my favorites songs in the Church Choir that can be sung during Advent (Gaudete Sunday) or through the Christmastide is Gabriel’s Message.

**The angel Gabriel from heaven came,

His wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;

‘All hail’, said he, "thou lowly maiden Mary,

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!

'For known a blessed Mother thou shalt be,

All generations laud and honour thee,

Thy son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!

Then gentle Mary meekly bowed her head,

‘To me be as it pleaseth God’, she said,

'My soul shall laud and magnify His holy name,

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria!

Of her, Emmanuel the Christ, was born,

In Bethlehem, all on a Christmas morn,

And everyone throughout the world will ever say:

Most highly favoured lady, Gloria! Gloria! Gloria!**

I wait for it all year :slight_smile:

Nice rendition of Oh Come Emmanuel , Gospel style.

My favourites also.

Creator Alme Siderum
Rorate Caeli
Ave Maria
O Sanctissima
Veni, veni Emmanuel
Alma Redemptoris Mater

My favourites are:

Lo! He Comes with clouds descending
Hark a Herald voice is calling
Hills of the north rejoice
On Jordon’s Bank
Wake O wake with tidings thrilling

I just realised that these aren’t all by Catholic authors but they are in the Catholic hymnal and suitable for Advent.

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