Christmas

Favorite Advent and Mary Songs

Nick Alexander here...

We are already into our second week of Advent, with the Feast of the Immaculate Conception before us, as well as the Solemnity of Our Lady of Guadalupe. And Christmas is merely weeks away.

Are you aware that TopCatholicSongs has a number of playlists already available to correspond to your Seasonal needs?

And, as is the benefits of these lists, you can immediately link to the iTunes page, where you can listen to the tracks first, and then purchase them--and instantly have them downloaded onto your computer. From there, you can listen freely, or you can upload them onto your own MP3 player, or burn them directly onto a CD.

If you like any particular song in the list, you are further free to explore that artist's full output, also on the iTunes page.

Or, you can click to any number of direct links on these lists, and have access to a Catholic or independent music retailer, where you can purchase the full CDs (perhaps as a gift?)

How do you have access to the Advent Lists? Or the Mary Lists? Or the Christmas lists?

Easy. On the bottom of each entry there are a number of Tags. Click on the tag that you would want to listen to (say, Advent), and immediately all the Advent pages will come up. It will be fun just sorting through them all.

In the meantime, do you have any favorite psalms/hymns/spiritual songs that are befitting for the season? Feel free to share them... leave a comment below!

Story Behind the Song: God Almighty, Little Child

Gerard Faucheux writes:

A few years ago, during midnight mass in Brookhaven, Mississippi, a song was played that just kind of settled in my soul. I don't really remember the melody or the words - just the feeling. Something about the dark church and the sound of the guitar and gentle singing just created something that has never left. During one of my long commutes, ideas started coming, comparing the awesomeness of God with the frailty of a little baby and other paradoxes due to Jesus, the son of God, the 2nd person of the blessed trinity, coming to live as one of us, to die as one of us, to die for all of us. Why? For love of us. I still don't understand this love. Even on my best days, I don't deserve this love. Yet while we were sinners, he died for us. (Rom 5:8) Wow! Thank you, Jesus!

I was thrilled (and extremely nervous) to be able to play and sing this song in my home church, St. Joseph's in Paulina, Louisiana a few years ago. A dark church - midnight mass - the sound of guitar and (somewhat) gentle singing - I hope that someone else was touched and changed the way that I was years before.

God Almighty, Little Child
Words and music by Gerard C. Faucheux, Sr.

God Almighty, little child.
King of Kings so meek and mild.
Creator of the universe cradled in her arms to nurse.
Why did You come? Why leave Your home?
Why become a creature so low?
You came because You loved, now let us love You.

On Your birthday, Jesus, it’s time to recall
That You humbled yourself to save one and all.
So we sing Glory to God in the Highest
And on Earth, peace to all.
We lift our voice in Alleluias
For You came to save us all,
For You came to save us all.

Earth creator, on Earth You dwell.
Omnipresent, Emmanuel.
Unbound by space, unbound by time.
Confined by days and trapped by night.
Equal to God, but You lived as man,
I try, but I cannot understand.
Your ways are high above the ways of man...

Glory to God in the Highest
And on Earth, peace to all.
We lift our voice in Alleluias
For You came to save us all,
For You came to save us all.

Copyright © 2005 Gerard C. Faucheux, Sr.

Great Advent Reflections and New Christmas CDs

Susan Bailey writes:
From time to time I get more new stuff than I can schedule into the GrapeVine News Minute Podcast or the magazine, so I will mention it here.

Sean Ward from CatholicTV in Boston, MA sent me a note yesterday about Advent reflections that they are doing on the website. If you have not visited this site before, be sure and visit it. All their programming is online, proving once again that CatholicTV is staying ahead of the curve. You can find their Advent programs where it says "Now Playing - CATHOLICTV SERIES" - scroll down a bit to find the Advent link. Of their Advent programming, Sean writes, "Check out Fr. Bill Kelly. He has a different reflection every week (along with the other four priests). Beginning next week they are sung. CatholicTV's Advent programming is underway. Each day of the Advent calendar we have a different reflection. Think of it as your thought for the day as you wait for Jesus birthday."

Artists have certainly been busy! Just within the last week I've received 3 wonderful new projects, one of which (Popple's new release, "Plaid") will be profiled in the Winter issue of GrapeVine, coming out in February.

My schedule with the podcast is full for this month but I just had to mention these two new releases that I've received related to Christmas.

Mike Zabrocki has put out his first Christmas project and it contains some traditional songs that I've not heard before including my favorite, "The Cherry Tree Carol" which he does with his wife, Laura. There's also a great Advent hymn on it, "Come O Lord." Listen to samples on Mike's MySpace site.

Tom Franzak has put out a wonderful new project which includes members of his family (and they all sing very well!). The packaging for this CD is very unusual and really catches the eye. When it first arrived in my mailbox and I opened the package, I thought it was a Christmas card. That's because the package is designed to be just that. The inside contains the CD, lyrics to all the original songs and a picture of Tom and his family. It's beautifully done. I listened on the way into work this morning and really enjoyed hearing both spiritually-based songs ("Emmanuel," "Behold the Child," "Let It Be Done," etc.) and songs with traditional secular Christmas themes ("A Christmas Card," "On Christmas Day," "Through the Eyes of a Child," etc.). I always love anything that's new and innovative. Tom's daughter Lucy, especially, is a wonderful singer. Great job, all you Franzaks! You can find their project at www.littlewaychristmas.com.

That's it for now. Stay tuned for this weekend's podcast which will feature Lynn Geyer talking about her Merry Christmas New York City show at Carnegie Hall.

Peace and Happy Advent!
Susan Bailey

Merry Christmas, New York City!

Merry Christmas New York City