Hymns for 1st Sunday in Advent B

Advent is a terribly difficult time for selecting English hymns, there are lots of wonderful Latin office hymns though. Most congregations only know and want to sing one particular hymn which you know you shouldn’t sing until after the 17th December but by week two you are struggling to find anything that anyone will join in with. The shops have been playing Christmas Carols on a loop since the middle of November so why can you not give them at least one chorus of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. Sound familiar?

Hymns for 1st sunday in Advent Year B:-

The hymns you have been waiting all year to sing…

  • Hark! A herald voice is calling
  • Lo ! He comes with clouds descending
  • Come Saviour, come like dew (Rorate Caeli)
  • Creator of the Stars of Night (Creator Alme Siderum)
  • Wait for the Lord (Taize)
  • Let all mortal flesh
  • O Jesus Christ remember
  • Guide me O thou Great Redeemer
  • Tell Out my Soul

The hymns you might have to wait a little longer to sing…

  • Awake, awake fling off the night
  • Wake, O wake with tidings thrilling
  • he King shall come when morning dawns (This can be sung as a round)
  • O heavenly word eternal light (Breslau)

The hymns you can wait all you like for but we will not being singing them in our parish:-

  • Abba, abba Father.
  • Our God reigns.   (Dangerous, people start singing about drains.)
  • City of God
  • Come to set us free (Farrell)
  • I rejoiced (Stephen Dean) – Not a good idea to get congregations singing a top E first thing on a Sunday morning. Really not fair on the celebrant.
  • Though the mountains may fall (Advent retro classic)
  • Stay awake (Chris O’Hara)
  • The servant King “From heaven you came…..” etc (Another Advent retro classic)
  • Out of darkness (Walker)
  • God beyond all names
  • Marantha (?!)

Did you know that during Advent the organ should not be used as a solo instrument? It should only be used to accompany singing. Perhaps there should be a rubric about guitars as well.


Any more hymn suggestions appreciated in the comments box.







One thought on “Hymns for 1st Sunday in Advent B

  1. Henry Law says:

    Rather a mixed bunch haha! Perhaps we should have a Songs of Praise style event one Sunday afternoon after lunch at the Windmill, and work our way through half a dozen of them picked by popular choice?

    Let all mortal flesh is the one about the six winged Seraphim. As soon as we get to that line I start trying to work out where the six wings would be fixed onto their bodies. There is an anatomical problem. Dragonflies are the only things with more that one pair of wings, so are they the same with another pair? Also, are they wings with feathers or like insects’ wings? Or bats’ wings? Or are they like pterodactyls with pretty faces? I have discussed this with father and he said the third pair of wings were fixed to the feet.

    Some of the Advent hymns talk about tender lamb appearing and that gets my appetite going. Several mention shining trains, which you hardly ever saw in the olden days as the carriages got covered with soot and rust which was hard to get off. Presumably the shining trains were painted maroon or chocolate-and-cream, which would have made them Pullman or Great Western. The one about a glorious train is obviously a Great Western Railway reference. GWR = God’s Wonderful Railway, so the glorious train must have been looked like this

    Anglican clergy eg W G Awdry, who wrote the Thomas the Tank Engine books, were often railway enthusiasts so this could be the origin of the connection.

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