Today’s blog post is from Clayton Faulkner, Director of Worship, Music and Technology at Faith Lutheran Church in Bellaire, TX.
If you’ve sung ELW #239-267 and are looking for some new worship music for Advent, try these on. These songs have been in rotation at Faith Lutheran in Bellaire, TX and work especially well for our band-led service.
Sing to the King, words and music by Billy Foote and based on an older hymn by Charles Silvester Horne. This song captures the eschatological themes of Advent well. The arrangement we use at Faith includes an additional original stanza that is left out of Foote’s version: “Souls will be saved from the burden of sin, doubt will not darken his witness within. Hell has no terrors, and death has no sting; love is victorious when Jesus is King.”
Immanuel, or as I like to call it, “From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable” (taken from the first stanza). Words and music by Stuart Townend, who has had some controversy stemming from the new Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hymnal. The four stanzas of this song give you a great narrative sweep of Christ’s birth, life, death, and return. We exclusively bring this song out every Advent. However, I do feel that the theology in this song needs a little tweaking to fit in our context. In the final stanza I change “hope of heaven or the fear of hell,” to “heav’n joins earth where God will dwell.”
Even So Come, words and music by Chris Tomlin, Jason Ingram, and Jess Cates. This song has a driving 6/8 pulse that emphasizes the thematic elements of waiting, preparation, and longing. The bridge section lyrics, “God we wait, you’re coming soon” fit well alongside the words of John the Baptizer.