I love hymns.
I absolutely love hymns. There are a great many I never finish singing in church because I get a bit too emotional. When I became Anglo-Catholic 16 or so years ago, I studied the hymnal and was amazed to discover so many "holiday" or holy day hymns in addition to the beloved Christmas carols. Palm Sunday hymns are actually some of my favorites for the year! I hope my children grow up feeling the same way about Easter hymns, Thanksgiving/Harvest hymns, and other feast day hymns as most of us feel about Christmas hymns - there are so many treasures spread throughout the year.
Last year, I made a playlist of advent carols. Many of them were pulled from Christmas albums or are traditional hymns that mention the Second Coming. Some are simply traditional songs full of legend and symbolism. I am particularly drawn to songs that have many versions such as "The Cherry Tree Carol." Our family enjoyed the playlist last year. The girls probably would have preferred "Run, Run, Rudolph" and others of that ilk, but I hope over the years they will develop an appreciation for the songs that Christians have sung for generations and not yearn for the tunes blared at the mall. Although, Nutmeg told me she heard "Ave Maria" at the bookstore this weekend; that is a definite improvement over "Last Christmas I gave you my heart..."
I am sharing my list from last year in hopes it might encourage you to create your own or share your favorites with me that would fit the general theme of anticipation.
Veni, Veni, Emmanuel Memoria Press ( I need a longer version)
Down in Yon Forest a version by Bruce Cockburn and one by Kathleen Lundquist (I'm actually not sure why I put this on the Advent list...hmm...)
The Angel Gabriel Maddy Prior
Gabriel's Message Sting
The Seven Rejoices of Mary versions by Anonymous 4, Loreena McKennitt
The Cherry Tree Carol versions by Sting, Anonymous 4, The Baltimore Consort
Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence Rose and Thistle Band
People Look East Al Petteway & Amy White
Creator of the Stars of Night Caroline Bowles
Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming Sting
Maria Through the Thornwood Goes Custer Larue & Ronn McFarlane
Lo He Comes with Clouds Descending Maddy Prior & The Carnival Band
I'm off to search iTunes; I hope to hear from you about your favorites!