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Waiting Songs

“For You, O Lord, Our Souls in Stillness Wait”

When Advent rolls around each year I find myself looking for ways to prepare myself and my children for Christmas and for Jesus returning. 

We have a Jesse tree and an Advent wreath and many of the usual traditions found in Catholic homes.  We try to keep an attitude of waiting and expectation during Advent, which can be tricky in the season filled with parties and presents.  It’s hard to avoid Christmas music, and we don’t completely shun it, but when we do find albums that stick to an Advent theme, they will get heavy play in our home. 

One of the albums I discovered in the last few years is called Waiting Songs by a group of women musicians who sing together under the name Rain for Roots. 

They have three albums geared toward children, but with wider appeal than most kid’s music.  Y’all, this music is really good.  I never would have imagined I could find an album of kid’s music, specifically for Advent, that is delightful to both adults and kids, but I have.  In fact, we like it so much that it gets heavy play throughout the year, whether or not our kids are listening.

Rain for Roots is comprised of Sandra McCracken, Flo Paris, and Katy Bowser.  Their style is probably best described as folk, and while the music is written for children, it’s hard to pin down as just kid’s music.  There are a few songs which are more “fun,” particularly “Mary Consoles Eve,” and “Zechariah,” and those that are more worshipful in nature such as “Come Light our Hearts” and the very traditional “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” 

And while the group is not specifically Catholic, there is even a song based on the Magnificat, which I love! 

Our favorite aspect though is simply that it is truly liturgically consistent for a seasonal album (and exposure to Scripture and biblical typology throughout the album doesn’t hurt).  All of the music really does embody the season of waiting and expectation.  

Sometimes in the rush of the secular Christmas season, we Catholics have to be very intentional in our Advent practices so as not to miss out on the gift that the Church has given us through the liturgical seasons.  By focusing on the longing and expectation for Jesus through the weeks of Advent we can better embrace the mystery of the Incarnation at Christmas.  I have found this album is a very enjoyable resource for Advent and I highly recommend Rain for Roots (and all of their albums are very good). 

What music, books, or resources do you love that help your families focus in the season of Advent?

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Anna Ostrom

Anna is a Catholic wife and mother of five children. She is thankful to be married to a stay at home dad extraordinaire, who keeps the family ship righted while she is working as a pediatrician. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, read-alouds, and searching for the world’s greatest children’s book.

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