Ad te levavi. Psalm 25.
Unto thee, O Lord, lift I up my soul: O my God, in thee have I trusted, let me not be confounded: neither let mine enemies triumph over me; for all they that look for thee shall not be ashamed. Shew me thy ways, O Lord: and teach me thy paths. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Unto thee, O Lord . . .
[Psalm 25] Unto thee, O Lord, lift I up my soul: O my God, in thee have I trusted, let me not be confounded neither let mine enemies triumph over me: for all they that look for thee shall not be ashamed.
[Psalm 85] The Lord shall shew loving-kindness: and our land shall give her increase.
Populus Sion. Isaiah 30.
O People of Sion, behold, the Lord is nigh at hand to redeem the nations: and in the gladness of your heart the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard. [Psalm 80] Hear, O thou Shepherd of Israel: thou that leadest Joseph like a sheep. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. O People of Sion, . . .
[Psalm 85] Wilt thou not turn again, O God, and quicken us, that thy people may rejoice in thee: shew us thy mercy, O Lord, and grant us thy salvation.
[Baruch 4 & 5] Jerusalem, haste thee, and stand on high, and behold the joy that cometh unto thee from God thy Saviour.
Gaudete. Philippians 4:4-6
Rejoice ye in the Lord, and again I say, rejoice ye; let your moderation be known unto all men, the Lord is at hand: be careful for nothing, nor troubled; but in all things, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God. [Psalm 85:1] Lord, thou art become gracious unto thy land: thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Rejoice ye in the Lord . . .
[Psalm 85] O Lord, thou art become gracious unto thy land; thou hast turned away the captivity of Jacob: thou hast forgiven the offence of thy people.
[Isaiah 35] Say to them that are of a fearful heart: Be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come and save you.
Rorate coeli. Isaiah 45
Drop down, ye heavens, from above, and let the skies pour down righteousness: let the earth open and bring forth a Saviour. [Psalm 19] The heavens declare the glory of God: and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be: world without end. Amen. Drop down, ye heavens . . .
[St. Luke 1] Hail Mary, full of grace: the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb.
[Isaiah 7] Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son: and his Name shall be called Emmanuel.
For centuries it has been common to chant or sing the text called Rorate Caeli, or the Advent Prose during Masses and other services in Advent. The complete text is assembled with passages from different chapters by the prophet Isaiah. The entire text is presented here, along with recordings of the plainchant and other choral settings of the text. A downloadable score is also available.
This page presents a brief history of the O Antiphons traditionally sung during Evening Prayer in the final week of Advent. Recordings of each of the antiphons sung in English are also presented.
The contemporary composer Arvo Pärt has set the O Antiphons (in German) to music. There is a separate page on Cantica sacra for each of Pärt’s antiphon setting, and this page contains a portal to those pages.
John Mason Neale’s Advent hymns for children
Among the many collections of hymns that the Rev. Neale assembled for use with children were included a set of seven hymns corresponding to the seven traditional O Antiphons. A copy of those hymns is available here.
Neale did not specify what tune he thought should accompany these hymns, but since the meter of the hymns is a very common one (in fact, it is known as Common Meter), there are many tunes that could work. I’ve chosen WINCHESTER OLD, to which “While shepherds watched their flocks by night” is frequently sung. Here are two stanzas of the tune to get you started:
Other Advent hymns
Here is a list of the hymns that were distributed to the Womens’ Retreat participants. If a separate page exists on this site which discusses the hymn, and which contains a recording of it, the title of the hymn will contain a link to that page. If no separate page currently exists, a recording of the accompaniment of the hymn is presented beneath the title.
The Advent of our King
Comfort, comfort ye, my people
O Come, Redeemer of the Earth
O Savior, rend the heavens wide
Prepare the way, O Zion
Savior of the nations, come
Johann Sebastian Bach, Schwingt freudig euch empor (BWV 36)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland I (BWV 61)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Nun komm der Heiden Heiland II (BWV 62)
Johann Sebastian Bach, Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme (“Sleepers, Awake”, BWV 140)
Johannes Brahms, O Heiland, reiß die Himmel auf
Conditor alme siderum (plainchant and multiple composers)
Michael Praetorius, Wachet auf
Franz Tunder (1614–1667), Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme
Choir of St. Paul’s, London — Advent at St. Paul’s
Salisbury Cathedral Choir — From Darkness to Light: The Salisbury Advent Service (no review yet; here’s the Amazon link)
Choir of St. John’s College, Cambridge — Advent Carols from St. John’s (no review yet; here’s the Amazon link)
Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles — Advent at Ephesus
Miriam Feuersinger and tenor Daniel Schreiber — German Advent Music
CantArte Regensburg — Advent Gregorian Chants
Choir of Clare College, Cambridge — Veni Emmanuel: Music for Advent (no review yet; here’s the Amazon link)
In this essay from 1951, Lewis discussed the reasons why Christians neglect the doctrine of the Second Coming.