TGC’s 2020 Advent Playlist – Brett McCracken

Advent couldn’t come soon enough this year. So much in 2020—a year that has felt like a decade—has been a perfect tee up for this Christian season of expectation and longing mixed with hope, joy, peace, and love.

Advent is both a season of celebration—with laughter, feasts, and fanfare—and a season of anticipation, with occasional tears and aching hopes. We celebrate the first coming (“advent”) of Christ, and the salvation he definitively secured through his death and resurrection. But we also anticipate his second coming, and the justice and peace he will definitively secure on this troubled and sin-plagued planet, once and for all. He came first as a frail, humble baby in the lowliest of social circumstances, vulnerable to Herod’s sword (Matt. 2:13–18). He’ll come again on a white horse, with crowns on his head, fire in his eyes, and wielding a sword by which he will exact justice on nations (Rev. 19:11–16).

In Advent we celebrate these contrasting comings, and their attendant ranges of emotions. Mystery and awe. Hope and fear. Jubilation and lament. Serene joy and angry justice. It’s all there, and it’s welcome, in Advent. It’s complicated, paradoxical, and sometimes messy. Perhaps that’s why the arts—and particularly music—are so central to our experience of this season. Whether a hushed acoustic dirge or Handel’s cacophonous “Hallelujah!” chorus, the expressive dynamics of songs and carols can capture well the complexity of Advent.

To that end, I assembled a new playlist of 100+ songs to help you worship God in this Advent season. You can find the playlist on Spotify and Apple Music. May it bless you and your loved ones during this and future Advent seasons.

  1. “Joy to the World,” Sandra McCracken
  2. “O Come All You Unfaithful,” Sovereign Grace Music
  3. “Come to Us Lord,” Young Oceans
  4. “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus,” Wilder Adkins
  5. “Jesus You Come,” Tenielle Neda and Jon Guerra
  6. “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” JJ Heller
  7. “Immanuel,” Loud Harp
  8. “Immanuel,” Beautiful Eulogy
  9. “Emmanuel You’re One of Us,” Rend Collective, Ellie Holcomb
  10. “Sing We the Song of Emmanuel (Gloria),” Matt Boswell, Matt Papa, Keith & Kristyn Getty
  11. “Gospel Christmas Medley,” The Recording Collective
  12. “Awaited One,” Lovkn
  13. “There Will Be a Day (Isaiah 2),” Caroline Cobb
  14. “Isaiah 9:6–7,” The Corner Room
  15. “For Unto Us a Child Is Born,” The Sing Team
  16. “Handel’s Messiah,” Jenny & Tyler
  17. “Isaiah 11,” Rain for Roots
  18. “Love’s Coming Down (Isaiah),” Melanie Penn
  19. “All Who Hear,” Young Oceans
  20. “At Last, the King,” The Gray Havens
  21. “Joy (Elizabeth),” Poor Bishop Hooper
  22. “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” Scott Mulvahill, Sarah Kroger
  23. “Once in Royal David’s City,” Keith and Kristyn Getty
  24. “City of David,” The Gray Havens
  25. “Little Drummer Boy,” Branches
  26. “Carol of the Banjos,” Beta Radio
  27. “I Heard the Bells,” Bridgetown Music, Matthew Zigenis
  28. “Advent 3: Stir Up Your Power,” Liturgical Folk, Liz Vice, Resound
  29. “When Love Crossed Over,” Paul Baloche, Madison Cunningham
  30. “Our God Came Down to Us,” Sarah Sparks
  31. “How You Choose to Come,” Ordinary Time
  32. “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence,” High Street Hymns
  33. “Silent Night,” Ella Fitzgerald
  34. “O Holy Night,” The Eagle and Child, Jon Foreman
  35. “The Incarnation,” Thomas Terry
  36. “O Magnum Mysterium,” Morten Lauridsen, The Concordia Choir
  37. “Behold the Lamb of God,” Andrew Peterson
  38. “Christ,” Poor Bishop Hooper
  39. “Do You Believe?” PJ Morton, Yolanda Adams
  40. “Saviour in a Manger,” Emu Music
  41. “Away in a Manger,” Nat King Cole
  42. “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree,” The Chapel Choir of Pembroke College, Cambridge
  43. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” aeseaes
  44. “Grace of God With Us,” Passion, Chidima
  45. “Immanuel,” Lo Sy Lo
  46. “Hope’s Coming to Town,” Lovkn
  47. “Mary’s Song (Our King of Peace),” Wendell Kimbrough, Cardiphonia Music
  48. “Mary’s Arms,” Sandra McCracken
  49. “Why Does God Have to Look So Human (Mary and Joseph),” Waterdeep
  50. “What Beauty,” Future of Forestry
  51. “O Holy Night,” Andrew Bird
  52. “Little Baby,” Becca VanDerbeck
  53. “Redemption Plan,” Eliza King
  54. “When the Lord Came Down,” Nathan Partain
  55. “The Carol of Joseph (I Believe in You),” for KING & COUNTRY
  56. “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” Jeremy Riddle
  57. “Go Tell it on the Mountain,” Shane & Shane
  58. “Mary Consoles Eve,” Rain for Roots feat. Sandra McCracken
  59. “Drive Out the Darkness,” The Porter’s Gate
  60. “Light Has Come,” Future of Forestry
  61. “Jesus Is Our Light,” Steve Thorngate
  62. “Light of the World (Sing Hallelujah),” We The Kingdom
  63. “His Kingdom Now Is Come (Behold! Behold!),” The Porter’s Gate
  64. “Thy Perfect Light,” Denison Witmer
  65. “Silent Night,” 116, Crystal Nicole
  66. “Flight to Egypt,” Ordinary Time
  67. “Refugee King,” Liz Vice
  68. “Greensleeves (What Child Is This?),” Canadian Brass
  69. “The King, Pt. 1,” Sarah Sparks
  70. “A Child Will Lead Us All,” Drew Miller
  71. “Angels We Have Heard On High,” David Andrew
  72. “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” for KING & COUNTRY
  73. “Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella,” Great Lake Swimmers
  74. “O Come All Ye Faithful,” Tommee Profitt, Sarah Reeves
  75. “Lord Remind Me,” Jon Guerra, Praytell
  76. “We Three Kings,” 116, Abe Parker, Lecrae, Paul Russell
  77. “We Three Kings (We’re Not Lost),” Rend Collective, Keith & Kristyn Getty
  78. “You Can Trust the Hidden One,” Lo Sy Lo
  79. “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Jon Bryant
  80. “The First Noel (Born Is the King),” Sovereign Grace Music
  81. “Angels We Have Heard On High,” Lowana Wallace
  82. “Joy to the World,” Aretha Franklin
  83. “Oh for Joy,” Folk Hymnal
  84. “I Wonder As I Wander,” Leif Shires
  85. “Hope Is Alive,” Ellie Holcomb
  86. “Nothin But You,” 116, Hulvey, Andy Mineo, Montell Fish, Becca VanDerbeck
  87. “Justice Delivers Its Death,” Sufjan Stevens
  88. “White Horse,” Over the Rhine
  89. “Revelation 22:20–21,” The Corner Room
  90. “In These Long, Last Days,” Sister Sinjin
  91. “Savior of the Nations, Come,” Cardiphonia
  92. “Be on the Lookout,” Caroline Cobb
  93. “O Day of Peace,” Josh Garrels
  94. “Peace on Earth,” Paul Baloche, Madison Cunningham
  95. “O Jerusalem,” The Porter’s Gate, Greg Thompson
  96. “We Wait,” Sara Groves
  97. “Light Will Dawn,” Rivers & Robots
  98. “Hope for Soon,” The Calendar Years
  99. “O Come All Ye Faithful,” Grace Worship, Kevin King, Lauren Deppe
  100. “Mvmt. IV: Every Bell on Earth Will Ring,” The Oh Hellos

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