Hymns for Advent

A selection of hymns and songs suitable for use during the season of Advent.

Most are free-to-use, ie public domain or copyright-free, meaning the words can be copied and sung to at least one tune with no concerns about copyright or performance licensing.

A small selection of hymns that are still copyright, but are especially suitable, may also be included.

Seasonal note

The season of Advent is a time of expectant waiting:  not penetential, but nevertheless still more restrained than either Ordinary Time before it, or the Christmas season.

There are a number of themes which appear in the Advent readings in each year of the liturgical calendar, including preparing a way for the Lord, and imploring him to "come".

These suggestions are appropriate for the entire season, rather than being directly tied to the readings on a particular day.


Free-use hymn suggestions

Come my Way, my Truth, my Life

Come O Divine Messiah

Come Saviour Come Like Dew (Rorate Caeli)

Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth

Comfort Comfort Ye my People

Comfort O Comfort, O my People

Creator of the Stars of Night (Creator Alme Siderum)

Fling wide the Gates

Gabriel's Message (The Angel Gabriel)

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed

Hark! A herald voice is calling

Hills of the North Rejoice

Let all Mortal Flesh Keep Silence

Lift up your Heads Ye Mighty Gates (Psalm 24)

Like the Dawning of the Morning

Lo ! He comes with Clouds Descending

O Come, O Come Emmanuel

O Heavenly Word Eternal Light

O Jesus Christ Remember

Of the Father's Love Begotten

On Jordan’s Bank

Prepare the Way, O Zion

Saviour of the Nations Come

The Advent of our King

The Coming of our God

The King shall come when Morning Dawns

The Race that Long in Darkness Pined

The Voice of God is Calling (public domain in the US only, author died in 1964)

This Advent Moon Shines Cold and Clear (CPDL setting) - suitable for Northern hemisphere only

Thou Whose Almighty Word

Wake, O Wake with Tidings Thrilling

We Long to See Thee So



Suggested hymns that may still be copyright

A Voice in the Wilderness - Robinson

Advent Ring - Bell

Awake Awake Fling off the Night - Peacy

Behold a Rose of Judah - unknown

Child of the Poor - Super

Christ Circle Round Us - Schutte

Come to set us Free - Farrell

Come, Lord Jesus, Come - Mangan

Come, O God, of all the earth (Sing out, earth and skies) - Haugen

Come, O Jesus Come O Lord - McAuley

Eternal God who Made the Stars - a translation of "Conditor Alme Siderum", translator unknown

For you, O Lord (My soul in stillness waits) - Haugen

I Hear a Sound Coming from the Mountain - Gustafson

Into the Darkness - Dawn

Light the Advent Candle - Walker

Like a Sea Without a Shore - White

Look Toward Christmas - Gibson

My Soul in Stillness Waits - Haugen

O Comfort my People - Waddell

O Emmanuel - Mangan

O Word in Uncreated Light- Forster

Open the Heavens Lord - Boniwell

Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord - various settings

Ready the Way - Hurd

The King of Glory Comes - Jabusch

The Maiden and Her Child - Lawton

The Whole World is Waiting for Love - Misetich

There was a man of God (Prepare the Way) - Boniwell

Wait for the Lord - Taize

Wake, O wake! The Night is Dying - Farrell

We Shall Stay Awake - Hoog and Kelly

When the King shall come again - Idle

Word of Justice (Advent Litany) - Farrell

You Heavens Sprinkle Dew - Jones



Further suggestions are welcome: please leave a comment below.

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