I absolutely love classic church hymns and anthems, particularly when beautifully done. I’ve spent countless hours searching the depths of the internet to find incredible video and audio recordings of tunes sung by angelic choirs, accompanied by powerful organs and various instruments, in echoey cathedrals and great music halls, with wonderful harmonies and descants, and (when I can find) joined by lively voices of a congregation. These songs now take up most of the space on my iPhone (I may or may not jog to albums like Duruflé’s Requiem). It is in discovering hymns, anthems, motifs, and chants presented in such stunning ways that I have grown to deeply appreciate the great ancient music of our church heritage.
In effort to spread the love for classic choral church music, I have spent some time compiling some of my favorite recordings of all the Advent hymns in the Hymnal 1982 (the primary hymnal for American Anglicans and Episcopalians). Not all of these recordings will have lyrics or versification that follows the 1982 version. In those cases, they might follow older hymnals. You can view the 1940 hymnal for free here and the English Hymnal for free here. The tune names are in parentheses. The original lyricists are in brackets. Where some hymns are popularly sung with different tunes than listed in the hymnal, they are labeled (BONUS). Where the recording is available on Apple Music or Spotify, there are links.
#53 Once He Came in Blessing (Gottes Sohn) [John Ron 1485-1547]
#54 Savior of the Nations Come (Nun komm) [Martin Luther 1483-1546]
St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral, Tallahassee
#55 Redeemer of the Nations, Come (Veni Redemptor gentium, Mode 1) [Ambrose of Milan 340-397]
#57 Lo! He Comes, With Clouds Descending (Helmsley) [Charles Wesley 1707-1788]
#58 Lo! He Comes, With Clouds Descending (St. Thomas) [Charles Wesley 1707-1788]
All I could find is this piano tune below.
#59 Hark! A Thrilling Voices Is Sounding (Merton) [Latin, 6th Century]
#60 Creator of the Stars of Night (Conditor alme, Plainsong Mode 4) [Latin, 9th Century]
#61/62 “Sleepers, Wake!” A Voice Astounds Us (Wachet Auf– J. S. Bach) [Philipp Nicolai 1556-1608]
#63 O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light (Verbum Supernum, Plainsong Mode 2) [Latin, 7th Century]
#64 O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light (O Heiland) [Latin 7th Century]
(BONUS) O Heavenly Word, Eternal Light (Verbum Supernum, Mode 3) [Latin, 7th Century]
#65 Prepare The Way, O Zion (Herran) [Frans Mikael Franzen 1772-1847]
#66 Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Stuttgart) [Charles Wesley 1707-1788]
(BONUS) Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Cross of Jesus-Stainer) [Charles Wesley 1707-1788]
(BONUS) Come Thou Long Expected Jesus (Hyfrodol) [Charles Wesley 1707-1788]
#67 Comfort, Comfort Ye My People (Psalm 42) [Johan Olearius 1611-1684]
#68 Rejoice, Rejoice Believers (Llangloffan) [Laurentius Laurenti 1660-1722]
#69 What Is The Crying At Jordan (St. Marks) [Carol Christopher Drake 1933]
#70 Herald, Sound The Note of Judgment (Herald, Sound) [Moir A. J. Waters 1906-1980]
St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Chicago