Welcome guest blogger, Regina Heater! Regina is a longtime friend of the A Nun's Life community and we're delighted to have this second installment in the Advent series from her! Enjoy this Advent music and video playlist!
Happy Second week of Advent! This week we light the 2nd candle of the Advent wreath, which represents Peace. This week’s readings are prayers to God for peace, for reconciliation and for restoration.
Perhaps you (like myself) are feeling a bit bruised and weary in this second week. May the peace of the Coming Savior surround you and comfort you as we continue our watchful waiting.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Our version for week 2 comes from Matt Maher. I selected it because it’s a bit quiet and meditative to start but builds to remind our weary souls to indeed rejoice, for help is on its way.
Comfort, Comfort Now My People
The text of the original hymn (which is often sung only once a year, if at all!) dates to 1671. Read more at Hymnary. This is a version by a group dedicated to re-introducing hymns to the church.
(Bonus: this version by Steve Eulberg will bring you comfort AND joy -- no words, just dulcimer.)
Come Ye Sinners
This hymn is usually reserved for Lent because of its overt call to repentance, but it’s perfect for Advent, as well. Repentance is an integral part of reconciliation, and reconciliation in turn is integral to peace with justice in our world.
I’m particular to Celtic settings of this tune (see Hymnary for some of the background about the text and tune) and this “greengrass” version by Irish singer/songwriters Keith & Kristyn Getty fits the bill perfectly.
There can be power in repetition of a phrase whether in meditation or song. I find this song by Michael W. Smith to be both comforting and empowering with the repeated phrase “We’re singing Hallelujah/Emmanuel, Our God is with us”.
Every valley shall be exalted (from Handel’s Messiah)
Ever since I was 14 years old and sang Handel’s Messiah for the first time, it’s impossible for me to hear the words of Isaiah 40 and not think of The Messiah… so how could I not include it in this list?
He Has Come For Us [God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen]
Now I know you might be thinking, isn’t God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen more of a Christmas song than an Advent tune? Possibly, but I hope you’ll allow me this indulgence as we round out our playlist this week. It is a dark time, a waiting time, and yet we can still share tidings of great comfort, of great joy, simply by sharing the story of this Jesus who has come for us and will come for us again.