BACK TO: ADVENT MUSIC
During the Introductory rites, music should set the prayer tone of the season. Although it is very common to hear “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” at the beginning of Advent, this hymn should actually be saved for the last two weeks of the season. This hymn is based on the O Antiphons, which are chanted or recited preceding the Magnificat during Evening Prayer of the Liturgy of the Hours. These antiphons are used during the final week of Advent from December 17th through December 23rd.
Music Suggestions for the Introductory Rites:
Advent Gathering Rite, Francis Patrick O'Brien (GIA)
Advent Entrance Rite, Hommerding/French (WLP)
Advent Litany and Gathering Rite, Michael R. Prendergast/Rick Modlin (OCP) Bilingual Latin/English
Letanía de Adviento/Advent Litany, Jaime Cortez (OCP) Bilingual English/Spanish
Two Litanies for Advent and Lent, Proulx (WLP)
The Gloria is omitted during Advent, except on the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary and on the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship reminds us: “The Gloria is a very ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. The text of this hymn may not be replaced by any other text…It is sung or said on Sundays outside the Season of Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and at special celebrations of a more solemn character.” (148)
The Responsorial Psalm
First Sunday of Advent: Psalm 25:4-5,8,9,10,14
Second Sunday of Advent: Psalm 126:1-6
Third Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 12:2-6.
Fourth Sunday of Advent: Psalm. 80:2-3,15-16,18-19.
The Immaculate Conception: Psalm 98:1, 2-3, 3-4
Common psalms for Advent: Psalms 25 and 85
You may find several settings for these common psalms in English and Spanish through the following resources:
Psalms for the Revised Common Lectionary, Guimont (GIA)
Lectionary Psalms, Gelineau/Guimont (GIA)
The Michael Joncas Psalter: Volume 1, Common Psalms (WLP)
Forever I will Sing, Mangan (WLP) For Children
Aclama Tierra Entera/Sing All You Lands, various (WLP) Bilingual English and Spanish
Psalms from the Soul Volumes 1 and 2, various (OCP) Gospel-style
Cantaré Eternamente/For Ever I Will Sing Vol. 1, various (OCP) Bilingual Spanish and English
You can also find individual settings for each psalm by these and other composers at:
In the Gospel Acclamation, the assembled faithful welcome “the Lord who is about
to speak to them.” (Sing to the Lord: Music in Divine Worship, 161)
If you are looking for new ideas, we suggest that you look at the Advent Gospel Acclamation settings by the following composers:
If you are looking for contemporary style settings, you might want to look at GIA’s Cry Out with Joy Year A, B or C: Music for the Liturgy of the Word
by David Haas, Kathleen Harmon SND de N, Stephen Pishner, Paul Tate, Lori True
When selecting a Mass setting, remember that, although Advent is a season of anticipation, the music should not portray the penitential and somber character of lent. This is still a joyful season, but not as jubilant as Christmas. The selected setting should be sung throughout the season and could even be used every year.
Mass setting suggestions for Advent:
Although our recommendation would be the Missa Emmanuel by Proulx, we invite you to visit the following links for more options. Here you will find a diversity of Mass settings in different styles, languages, and for all ages.
New Mass settings by GIA
Revised Mass settings by GIA
New and Revised Mass settings by OCP
Mass settings by WLP