Incarnation Album – Hymn Geekery

Here is our page of notes on the songs and hymns from our latest compilation for those of you who enjoy this kind of geekery.

All Praise to Thee, Eternal Lord
Translation of an 11th century Latin sequence (a sequence is chant or hymn sung or recited during the liturgical celebration of the Eucharist, before the proclamation of the Gospel) The first German stanza appeared in 1370. Luther added six stanzas to it in 1523 and then published it for the Christmas service that year, making this the first Christmas
hymn of the Reformation. This hymn was used by Bach in his Choral Cantata for
Christmas Day.

Canticle of the Turning
Inspired by Mary’s Magnificat catholic musician Rory Cooney penned these words in
1990 and paired them with a traditional Irish tune Star of County Down. Here the
tune is arranged by Richard Kentopp of The Gentle Wolves for Servant Church in Austin, TX
Christmas Must Be Tonight by “The Band”

Christmas Must Be Tonight is an out-take from Northern Lights, Southern Cross, subsequently included on The Bands album ‘Islands.’ The song, written by Robertson after the birth of his son, Sebastian, was originally intended to have been a Christmas single in December 1975. It eventually went on to become a christmas season hit single for the group “The Band.” Here Jeff Crawford and Brett Harris, from Durham, NC church The Gathering, present us with their take.

Come See a Child of Low Estate
Two versions of this text are on the album written by the Rev. W. D. Springett in the
1890’s. One version by Zac Hicks (Coral Ridge Presbyterian) in a Techo-Praise style, and
one from City Hymns musician Karl Digerness (City Church, San Fran) in a simple
folk.jazz style. A wonderful look into how music can elucidate a text in a myriad of ways.

Come Thou Almighty King
The anonymous text dates from before 1757, when it was published in a leaflet and
bound into the 1757 edition of George Whitefield’s Collection of Hymns for Social
Worship. The text appears to be patterned after the British national anthem, “God Save
the King.” Filled with names for members of the Godhead, this song exhibits a common
trinitarian structure, addressing God the Father (st. 1), God the Son (st. 2), and God the
Holy Spirit (st. 3), concluding with a doxology to the Trinity (st. 4). Here featured with
original music by Luke Morton, the current worship pastor at Green Lake Presbyterian
Church in Seattle, WA.
Emmanuel (God with Us)

Music and Lyrics by Marty Reardon at Trinity Anglican Mission in Atlanta, GA and
released on their collection of Advent/Xmas songs in 2011.

Hark a Burst of Heav’nly Music
Words by a Mrs. M. N. Meigs largely in use with Sunday School collections in the late
1800’s. Music by Jered McKenna, music minister at Mitchell Road Presbyterian
Church, Greenville, SC.

Hark What Music Fills the Sky
Text by English poet Elizabeth Wiglesworth best known for her publications of hymns
addressed to children. Music by Craig Harris, worship pastor at Sun Valley Church in
Yakima, WA.

I Wonder As I Wander
Originally recorded and transcribed by folklorist John Jacob Niles outside of Asheville,
NC. This arrangement written and recorded by Bruce Benedict and the Hope College
Chapel Band.

In the Bleak Midwinter
Originally pushed as simply “A Christmas Carol.” Later titled “In the bleak midwinter”
after the opening line and published as a hymn in the English Hymnal in 1906. The only
tune to which the complete hymn is sung is CRANHAM by well-known English
composer, Gustav Holst, who composed it for this text. Here arranged and recorded by
Seattle, WA area collective Coastland Commons (Kyle Turver and co).

In The Night A Heavenly Song Came Down
Harcourt Whyte is a notable Nigerian composer. He was struck with leprosy as a child
and after his parents died he lived in the Uzuakoli Leprosy Hospital in the East of
Nigeria. Here he became fascinated with the hymns of the medical missionaries and went
on to compose many songs both in English and in the native language Igbo. This
arrangement was written and recorded by Jonathan Green (JGHymns), a musician from
Edinburgh, Scotland.

Jesus Came, Jesus Comes
From the hymn text “Jesus Came, the Heavens Adoring” written by English pastor
Godfrey Thring in 1864. Included in the lectionary as a hymn for the 1st Sunday of
Advent (Year B). Original tune by Michael Van Patter – worship director at Hope
Chapel in Greensboro, NC.

Lift Up Your Heads (Psalm 24)
Originally written in German by George Weissel in 1642 as a hymn for the first Sunday
in Advent (late trans into English by Catherine Winkworth). This hymn draws its
inspiration from Psalm 24 and contemplates how we can prepare our hearts for Christ’s
Second Coming. Original tune from San Francisco musician Jason Morrell (City Church–Mission)

Love Came Down at Christmas
Another classic Christmas text by 19th-century poet Christina Rossetti. Here arranged by
Patrick Schlabs (St. Peter’s, Charleston, SC) from the traditional Irish tune GARTAN.
New chorus lyrics and melody from Alex Mejias (High Street Hymns)

Mary’s Song (Our King of Peace)
Original text and tune by Wendell Kimbrough, 2014.

My Soul Magnifies the Lord
An original text and tune by Andrew Rottner, who leads worship at Liberti Church in
Philadephia, PA.

On This Day Earth Shall Ring
A popular translation of the medieval carol Personent Hodie. This hymn is often
associated with the feast of the Holy Innocents (Dec 28). This arrangement was written
and recorded by Covenant Presbyterian Church (Paul van der Bijl)

Psalm 72
A messianic psalm exploding with resonances in the Lukan canticles, this is a fantastic
psalm to explore during the advent and Christmas seasons. Here Luke Brodine presents
the entire psalm between readings and a short chorus of vs. 18-19. Tune is arranged from
the traditional WILD MOUNTAIN THYME.

Puer Natus Est
Puer Natus Est is the Introit for the third Mass of Christmas Day. It is a latin rendering of
Isaiah 9:6 “A child is born to us, and a Son is given to us: “Whose government is upon
His shoulder.” This arrangement and recording is by Daniel Snoke a worship leader and
musician from Pittsburg, PA.

Sing Out My Soul
Original text and tune inspired by the Magnificat from Brian Moss, early Indelible Grace contributor and current associate pastor at Maple Valley Presbyterian Church near Seattle, WA.

We Sing to Thee Immanuel
Words written by German pastor Paul Gerhardt in 1650, and translated by Catherine
Winkworth in 1855. Music written by Gregory Wilbur in 2004 and recorded in 2014.

You Gave Your Word
Original text and tune by Nashville musician and worship leader Jeff Bourque.

Devotional Resources for Advent 2014

Header Image

Here is a collection of devotional resources for Advent this year.

Let #Ferguson Prepare Us For This Season Of Advent
article by David Bailey of Making a Melody.

25+ Devotional Books for Advent Reading
from Global Worship Blog

Biola Advent Project
I always enjoy Biola’s church themes web devo’s.

Gloria – A Christmas Hymn Study

Advent Devo from Grace Pres in Seattle (image above)

Christ Church Berkeley Advent Devo

Advent Devotionals from Liberty Church – Philly

New Lyrics to tune of O Holy Night from Kevin Hartnett

Our God of Old has Spoken
New Song from Matthew Westerholm

New albums for Advent and Christmas 2014

A lot of great music out for the advent/christmas season this year. Here are a bunch from Cardiphonia friends. See our post HERE for our past favorites. ** And if you need any charts for the season be in touch with – new charting enterprise from Zach Sprowls. ———- Advent No. 2 cover art Advent No. 2, by Holy City Hymns Project from Patrick Schlabs and folks in Charleston, SC Advent cover art Advent by The Calendar Years Project from Ben Grace and folks in Brooklyn, NY It’s Merry Christmas Time by Miranda Dodson Miranda is the worship leader at City Life Church and is leading music at this years Calvin Worship Symposium.

A Glorious Light: Winter 2014 Compilation


Garage Hymnal – Lowly

Garage Hymnal is an outfit based in Sydney, Australia that release a wonderful collection of stylistically ranging worship music. This is their first Christmas album and it’s good! You can listen to the whole thing on spotify or buy it directly HERE.

OTHER fun stuff:
Christmas Vol. I cover art
Christmas Vol. I by Chic Gamine

Campfire Christmas (Vol. 1) by Rend Collective

Songs for the Incarnation – New Compilation

Cardiphonia is proud to release our newest compilation of songs for advent and christmas.

Songs for the Incarnation is a collection of texts both old and new that meditate on various aspects of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. These songs explore the moments surrounding Christ’s entry into the world. The guttural noise of his prophetic coming, the reverberant new song of creation, the noisy announcement of the Angel throngs, the anxious sputtering of humble shepherds, and the silent, exhausted stillness of brand new parents. We simply join our voices to the never ending strain, the ‘in dulci jubilo’ that will never cease, or quiet, or lose its perfect pitch and harmony. We hope you find in this new batch of songs a fresh wind for this particularly exhausted season. May you be renewed by His presence and His Spirit this advent, Christmas, and Epiphany season 2014-2015.

Again our huge thanks to these artists for stretching even their own conceptions of what constitutes the music of the “season.” Most of these texts occupy the outer edges of Christmas’s massive material universe. Here we find texts and songs literally wandering in from across time and space. From the Appalachian hills to the shores of Africa. From the Mission District in San Francisco (can you hear the Giants partying in the background?) to the Carolina lowlands. From the rockin’ cover of The Bands “Christmas Must Be Tonight” to the victorian perfection of Christina Rossetti’s “Love Came Down at Christmas.” Traveling through time we hear again the 16th century tune Personent Hodie beside the year 2014 in Wendell Kimbroughs original Magnificat. Daniel Justice Snoke introduces us to an introit from a catholic Christmas Day mass in Puer Natus Est and Luke Brodine reminds us that the Psalms are always relevant to our celebration of the story of Christ in the church year!

The Album download includes a songbook with hymn notes and an introductory article to Advent from our friend Noah McClaren.

Songs for the Lukan Canticles

Set Us Free (Song of Zechariah) cover art

Getting to this post a lot late but here is a list of the Lukan canticles we included on our “Canticles” compilation plus some from the recent “Songs for the Book of Luke.”

The Song of Mary

Richard Kentopp (The Gentle Wolves) – “Canticle of the Turning”
mp3 | chart

Brian Moss – Sing Out My Soul
mp3 | chart

Andrew Rottner – My Soul Magnifies the Lord
mp3 | chart

Wen Reagan – He has Come
mp3 | chart

More versions of Mary’s Song can be found at this POST

The Song of Zechariah

David LaChance – The Song of Zechariah
mp3 | chart – “Songs for the Book of Luke”

Wendell Kimbrough – Dawning Light of Our Salvation
mp3 | chart

Phil Majorins – Set us Free
mp3 | chart

More versions of the Benedictus can be found at this POST

The Song of the Heavenly Host

High Street Hymns – Gloria
mp3 | chart

Song of Simeon

Greg Scheer – Lord God, Now Let your Servant
mp3 | chart  – “Songs for the Book of Luke”

Bruce Benedict – Simeon’s Song
mp3 | chart

Steve Thorngate – You Send Your Servant Forth in Peace
mp3 | chart

More versions of the Nunc Dimittis can be found at this POST

Resources and Music for Advent 2013


Here are a few resources you should check out for advent and xmas this year.


There are two fantastic advent/xmas songs on the new Gospel Coalition album Songs from the Book of Luke.

The Song of Zechariah (by David LaChance)
mp3 | chart

Lord God, Now Let your Servant Depart in Peace (by Greg Scheer)
mp3 | chart  (The Song of Simeon)

Also check out a new song from Matt Boswell and DA Carson…

Exult in the Savior’s Birth (by Matt Boswell and DA Carson)
 | chart

And this fantastic track from Zac Hicks!

From High Heaven
mp3 | chart

ALBUMS (new and old)

The Gentle Wolves Set I cover art
Set One: Christmas Songs by the Gentle Wolves

For Our Salvation
by Falls Church Anglican (Jamie Brown)

How Long, O Lord? Psalms for Advent cover art
How Long, O Lord? – Psalms for Advent
by Jacob Tilton and Fort Worth PCA
All The Earth Rejoice - Christmas Songs, Vol. 5 cover art
All the Earth Rejoice from Folk Angel
Songs from Jacob's Well Vol. III: Songs For The Advent Conspiracy cover art
Songs from Jacob’s Well Vol. III: Songs For The Advent Conspiracy
by Mike Crawford and His Secret Siblings
Have A Merry Christmas cover art
Have A Merry Christmas by Hiram Ring
The Mystery of Godliness cover art
The Mystery of Godliness
Christmas album my church recorded last year.


Advent Prayer Guide

Christ Church Berkeley – We have found that The Christian Year, particularly seasons such as Advent-Christmas, provides wonderful opportunities for us to rekindle our relationship with God and his people, and especially to focus on the quality of our worship as a church, as families, and as individuals. We have prepared this guide for daily prayer with the hope that this season will be a time of renewal for you as well. Advent-Christmas Prayer Guide (PDF).

Liberti Church Philly 

Coram Deo Church