Hymns for the 3rd Sunday of Advent / Gaudete Sunday, Year B (17 December 2023) - Catholic lectionary

A selection of hymns and songs based on themes from the Roman Catholic lectionary for the third Sunday of Advent, Year B.

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. Many such hymns are old/traditional - but where possible a variety of styles / genres are included.

A small selection of hymns which are still copyright, but are a particularly good fit for the day's readings, are also included.

Seasonal note

The third Sunday of Advent is traditionally known as Gaudate Sunday (pronounced "gau - day -tay"), and has focus on experiencing joy in this time of waiting and preparation.  One explanation of the meaning and ritual of the day is here.


First: Isaiah 61: 1-2, 10-11 - The spirit of the Lord has been given to me, he has sent me to bring good news to the poor.

Psalm:  Lk 1 / Is 61 - My soul rejoices in my God / The almighty works marvels for me / He fills the starving with good things.

Second: I Thessalonians 5:16-24 - Be happy at al times, pray constantly ... never try to suppress the Spirit ... may the God of peace make you perfect and hold.

Gospel: John 1: 6-8, 19-28 - A man came sent by God. His name was John.  ... The priest and Levites questioned him - he quoted from Isaiah "A voice cries in the wilderness..." ... there stands among you the one who is coming after me, I am not fit to undo his sandal ..."


Rejoice in the joy of knowing that the Lord is coming.  Focus on John as the bringer of the news of Jesus coming.

Free-use artwork

See lectionary art for this Sunday for suggested pictures and art-works based on today's readings.

Free-use hymns

God is Working his Purpose Out


Hail to the Lord's Anointed

Hark!  A Herald Voice is Calling

Hark the Glad Sound

Jubilate Deo

O Come Divine Messiah

On Jordan's Bank

Magnificat (My Soul is Filled with Joy)

Personent Hodie! Sing Gaudete! - Hagan (ref)

Psalm setting - Music for Mass

Rejoice in the Lord Always

The King Shall come when Morning Dawns

Thou whose Almighty Word

Ye who Claim the Faith of Jesus (Vincent Stucky Stratton Coles)

Hymns that may be still copyright

A Voice in the Wilderness - Chris Robinson

Behold A Virgin Bearing Him

O Be Glad my Soul Rejoice

O Child of Promise Come

People Look East (Carol of the Advent) - Farjeon

Tell Out my Soul the Greatness of the Lord -Dudley-Smith

The Moon with Borrowed Light

The Spirit Sends us Forth to Serve

You have Anointed Me

See also ...

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