Sunday, December 18, 2016

Advent Songs for the Whole Family

Given that there is only one week of Advent left, I thought this would be a perfect time to share the playlist that has been on constant rotation in our house/car! OK, yes, there's a little sarcasm there... well, really, it's more of a rueful *smh* - I did want to get this post out earlier so that any interested person could add some of these songs to their playlist too (and you still could!) But I guess the tack I'll take instead is that the title of this post is really quite true, as we've listened to these songs for nearly a whole month now and we still love them.

This isn't a sponsored post and there are no affiliate links (some other more experienced blogger will have to show me how to do that), so feel free to click with impunity! And if you would rather just start listening to the songs (and avoid all the blah blah blah) click here.

Rain for Roots - Waiting Songs
I purchased this last year for Christmas, and listened to it a little then, but this year my appreciation for the songs and their content has grown tenfold. As the title implies, these are not Christmas songs, per se, but songs for Advent - so we sing sweet simple renditions of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" and "Come Thou Long Expected Jesus". And we also sing clever original songs like "Mary Consoles Eve" and "Isaiah 11" (which talks about the 'root of Jesse' - the wee girl didn't catch on to that, but I when I heard it this year, I did a little jump for joy - yeah! Another reference to/reinforcement of our Jesse Tree!*) I also love this CD's version of the Magnificat - it's just lovely.

Even though this is supposed to be in the genre of children's music, it really doesn't feel like it. OK, maybe it does with the song about Zechariah, but that's all. It really will be a family treasure, I think.

Winter EP - Audrey Assad

I love all things Audrey Assad. Her vocals are to die for, her arrangements are lyrical and lush, any covers she does are unique and her songwriting itself is pure artistry. (Have I talked her up enough? ;) ) This EP has just three songs on it - including the one she wrote and sang with Chris Tomlin called "Winter Snow." I would recommend buying it just for that song alone. I get all choked up when I really think about the chorus:
But you came like a winter snow
 quiet and soft and slow
 Falling from the sky in the night
 to the earth below
This Winter's Eve - Sarah Hart

I was surprised by how much I like this album (so no, I'm not just posting this one because I got to meet the artist!) "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" is hauntingly beautiful - the tinkling of the piano at the end gives me chills every time. "Let It Be So" is a gorgeous reflection of Mary's "yes" to God. This is mood music at it's best!

The Vigil Project - Vigil Series #2

Here's the (probably only) upshot to spending too much time on social media: sometimes you come across things that are truly great and special. The Vigil Project is a perfect case in point (I've saved the best for last). I somehow stumbled upon their first series which were songs for Lent + Easter - and now they've done the same for Advent + Christmas. Each week they've released a new song/video that sets the backdrop for contemplating and praying the mysteries of Advent. The first song, "Prepare Him Room" is just perfect (as is that "ecclesia domestica" sign in the video... anyone know where I can get me one of those?)

There you have it! 4 albums that come kid-tested and parent-approved to bless the (fast dwindling) season of Advent. And if you missed it above, here's the link to listen to all the music mentioned. What have you been listening to this month?

*I think we need all the reinforcement we can get. Just THIS morning my (wonderful, awesome) husband mentioned to me, "Hey... I've noticed a theme with the Jesse Tree... it's like the whole Bible story told in small chunks every day!" Yes, honey, it is. *smh* again.

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