A Guide To Christmas Music For Contemporary Churches

If you’ve ever had to plan worship services around the Christmas/Advent season, you know it’s not easy. Here are some of the best resources I’ve come across for helping you plan this time of year. My hope is that these resources will reduce your stress and help you experience the wonder and joy that should accompany our celebration of our Savior’s birth!

First, one of the most popular links I ever published was Matthew Anderson’s 15 (Advent) Songs Your Church Could Be Singing. The list is a few years old now, but it’s still a good way to find modern worship songs that fit into the themes of Advent:

Many songs from your regular rotation will work great for Advent. Themes of hope, longing, expectation, and waiting are all appropriate. Keep in mind that Advent is as much about Christ’s coming into our world in a new way now as it is about preparing to celebrate his birth. During Advent the church cries, “Come, Lord Jesus!” for the renewal of our lives and our world now.

Shannon Lewis (whom you may remember from this interview), compiled a list of songs that worship leaders should consider for their Christmas season sets:

With Christmas fast approaching, I’d like to pitch a few last-minute options for those of you who still have a few question marks in their Holiday set-lists. Though these might not all be quite as “indie” as I usually shoot for, they are all quality new songs worth considering.

Tim at Worship Deeper put together a nice list of easy Christmas worship songs, complete with audio samples and free chord charts:

Worried that you did these songs last year? Don’t be. I do the same songs every year and have been for years. Guess what. No one notices. In fact, every year people like these songs more and more. When it comes to Christmas songs, people appreciate old standards and don’t want you to get too creative.

So here’s a list of Christmas songs you can play for worship this year and years to come. Plus, I’ve included downloadable PDFs and Word documents for the public domain songs. I’ve even added a few songs I recorded a few years back to give you arrangement ideas. Enjoy.

Finally, when it comes to choosing songs, whether from the lists above or from your own rotations, Greg Brewton shares seven important things to keep in mind as you select Christmas music for your services:

It’s that time of year again when worship leaders plan services for the Christmas season. Each year we have the opportunity to use the traditional carols and some newer Christmas worship songs. When it comes to Christmas carols and worship songs, they are not all created equal. Here are some principles to consider when choosing songs for Christmas worship services.

What resources for planning Christmas worship are you using this year?

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