Hymns for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, Year B - Revised Common Lectionary (10 Dec 2023)

A selection of hymns and songs, based on themes from the Revised Common lectionary for the second 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.

Suggestions about other free-to-use hymns that could be included are welcome: leave a message in the Comments box near the bottom of the page. 


First: Isaiah 40: 1-11 - Comfort my people ... speak to the heart of Jerusalem ... a voice cries "Prepare in the wilderness"

Psalm 84 - Let us see, O Lord, your mercy and give us your saving help / I will hear what the Lord has to say / Mercy and faithfulness have met / The Lord will make us prosper.

Second: II Peter 3:8-15a - With the Lord a "day" can mean a thousand years, and a thousand year one day - live holy and saintly lives while you wait for the Day of the Lord ... so that he will find you at peace.

Gospel: Mark 1:1-8 - John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, to fulfil the prophesy made by Isaiah.  He baptised, and preached about the more powerful one who was to follow him.


Waiting for Christ's coming.   John the Baptist - preparing the way.

Free-use artwork

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

Free-use hymns

A Charge to Keep I Have - Wesley
Angels from the Realms of Glory
Blessed Quietness - Ferguson

Come O Precious Ransom - Crull, from Olearius
Come Thou (O) Long Expected Jesus
Come Ye Sinners Poor and Needy
Comfort, Comfort Ye my People - Winkworth, trans from Olearius

Day of Judgment! Day of Wonder! - Newton
Depth of Mercy - Wesley
Draw Me Nearer ( I am Thine, O Lord, I have heard Thy voice) - Crosby
Drop Down Ye Heavens From Above - Unknown

Faithful Shepherd Feed Me - Pollock
Forth in Thy Name O Lord I Go - Wesley
Freedom Is Coming - Unknown
God is Love His Mercy Brightens - Bowring
God, whose Almighty Word - Marriott

Hail to the Lord's Anointed
Hark a Herald Voice is Calling
Hark the Glad Sound the Saviour Comes - Doddridge
Heralds of Christ who Bear the King’s Commands - Copenhaver
How Firm A Foundation - Keith / Keen

I am not Worthy Holy Lord - Baker
I Surrender All (All to Jesus I Surrender)
I Want to be Ready (The great day is nearing) - Blackmer
Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise
In the Bleak Mid-winter - Rossetti
It Came Upon the Midnight Clear
Judge Eternal Throned in Splendor - Holland
Just as I Am Without One Plea

Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence (Alleluias of St James)
Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates - Winkworth
Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending
Love Divine all Loves Excelling
Not so in Haste my Heart - Torrey

O Breath of Life Come Sweeping Through Us - Head
O Come O Come Emmanuel
O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing - Wesley
O God Our Help in Ages Past
O Lord Your Tenderness - Kendrick
On Jordan's Bank the Baptist's Cry
On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand - Stennett
On This Day the First of Days - Baker

The Advent of our God - Chandler
The King of Love my Shepherd Is
The Lord Will Come and Not be Slow - Milton
Tis the Old Ship of Zion - Unknown
Wake Awake for Night is Flying (Zion Hears the Watchmen / Sleeper’s Awake)
We Pray until the Hour, that Awesome Hour Unknown - Wesley

Hymns that are / may be still copyright

All Earth is Waiting to See the Promised One (Toda La Tierra Espera Al Salvador) - Suppe, trans from Taulé
All the Earth / Todas la Tierra - Vaquero
Blessed be the God of Israel - Daw

Christ is Surely Coming Bringing his Reward - Idle
Come Now O Prince of Peace - Pope, from Kōn-yong Yi
Down by the Jordan - Gillette (ref)
God Hath Spoken by His Prophets - Briggs
Light One Candle to Watch for Messiah - Wold

Make Way, Make Way - Kendrick
Now the Silence - Vajda
O Day of God, Draw Nigh - Young (1899-1987)
O Day of Peace that Dimly Shines - Daw
O Saviour Rend the Heavens Wide - Seltz (1907-1967)

People Look East (Carol of the Advent) - Farjeon (1881-1965)
People Look East to See at Last - Leckebusch (b. 1962)
Praise to the God who Clears the Way - Berry
Prepare the Way of the Lord - Taizé
Prepare ye the Way of the Lord / I Hear a Sound Coming from the Mountain

The Voice of God Goes out to all the World - Connaughton / Inwood
There is A New Heaven; There is A New Earth - Duck
There's a Voice in the Wilderness Crying - Milligan

Until Jesus Comes - Crouch
View the Present Through the Promise - Troeger
Wait For the Lord - Communauté de Taizé
We are a Wilderness Wandering People - Strathdee
When Jesus Came to Jordan
Wild and Lone the Prophet's Voice - Daw

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