Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Five Favorites - Advent and Christmas Music...with a GIVEAWAY!


Joining Hallie for Five Favorites this beautiful Tuesday.  It's going to be tough to narrow down my favorite Advent and Christmas albums to five but I'll give you five of my favorites anyway.  

And hey, keep reading for a chance to win one of them!

1.

(Can't be home for Christmas?  Hug a tree instead.)

So, the rest of the album is kinda eh (I mean, is there a worse Christmas song than Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree?  Wait.  There is.  Oh, yes there is.  Santa Baby.  *shudder*  Don't worry, that's not on this album.) but it's worth it to get just for her beautiful original song Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song).  It's the song I gave birth to Luke with.  It's the song that is filled with longing and faith and doubt and humility.  It's a song that every woman who has been pregnant can identify with as they approach birth.  It's a perfect Advent song.

2.
I can't pick just one of Michael W. Smith's albums so I'm going to cheat a little bit and choose both:
His first Christmas album oh so appropriately titled Christmas and his third It's a Wonderful Christmas

            


I love his instrumental pieces and original music.  They're dramatic and beautiful and thoughtful and different.  It's a Wonderful Christmas is almost completely original and is performed with an orchestra.  I just saw that he has a couple new Christmas albums that I haven't heard yet as well!

3.


Timeless and classic.  Plus, they're Irish.

4.


I already mentioned that I love this album but I couldn't leave it out.  I had the first four Advent songs playing on repeat for several hours the other day.  I'm so excited to listen to be able to enjoy the rest come Christmas! 

5.
And my newest favorite?



Friar Alessandro is a genuine Italian Franciscan friar of the Friars Minor of Umbria.  His voice is breathtaking and the story of his vocation and ministry amazing.  Just a snippet...

‘I discovered the presence of God, a new presence, a different presence. Not just the feeling of goodness, but God as a person. I felt him close to me. He is in the creation, he is in the people, I felt him inside of me and his love for all people, and not for experiences. Suddenly I was not attracted to experiencing danger. I felt it was love that is important I felt if Jesus gave Himself the only way for me to say thank you was to give myself to him as a consecrated person.

I was very afraid of this experience, afraid because I had wanted to become a musician. I wanted to have a family of my own, a wife, children. All this was in opposition with this desire that was borne inside of me. It was a conflict.
......
I found my voice. I met a friar who introduced me to the voices of the great tenors. I joined the order and when I was a postulant I told my spiritual master I will stop singing now, I just want to be a friar to work and pray together. My master said “No, you will continue. It is a talent from God, you can’t refuse it.”

You can read more of his story here.

He now has two albums Voice from Assisi and Voice of Joy and you can see him sing on Youtube. 
You need only watch a few moments to witness the passion and joy with which he sings.  


Aaaaand...the lovely people at Decca Records have generously offered a Voice of Joy CD to one of my readers for your Christmas music collection!  Yay!  You won't be disappointed!

To win use the box below and follow the instructions!  Giveaway will end next Tuesday at 12 a.m. and the CD will be in the mail right away so you have it in time to celebrate this Christmas!


p.s. All links are Amazon affiliate links so if you click through and buy ANYTHING, I'll get rich by the dime load.  Thank you!



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33 comments:

  1. Great post! I would love to win, as well. Thanks!

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  2. Yes....Breath of Heaven is a classic. Of her 3 Christmas albums, overall I like her first the best. My new favorite is Chris Tomlin's Glory in the Highest.

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  3. Excellent selections! It's sad, I know, but the only album we own here is Amy Grant! We depend too much on spotify and pandora!

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  4. I keep hearing about this Friar! I would love to have some non-secular music playing in the house! Thanks, Mary.

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  5. Would love to win! Plus Amy grant Christmas is truly awesome!

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  6. Thanks for sharing this! And I would love to win! :)

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  7. Sounds exciting, the last three particularly caught my interest!:) Would love to win.

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    1. Mary
      Just wanted to come back and say I've been listening to Friar Alessandaro for hours on youtube!! His voice is magnificent!! and the joy, the utter joy on his face, he is truly in love with God!!

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    2. That's awesome! To be honest, when I first watched, I was sorta thinking, is this guy for real?? And he is. His joy and passion are amazing.

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    3. I do know what you mean, our cynical side. But yes he is!!! I feel like he has really SEEN God!!! and I keep looking at his face thinking, "bet he looks like St Francis"

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  8. Advent at Ephesus is also really great

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    Replies
    1. Yes! I got that one last year and it's so reflective and peaceful, isn't it?

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  9. Yes my all time favorite is Amy Grant and I would love to win a new Christmas CD as well!

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  10. Loving the Marian Grace CD! Thanks for the recommendation!

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  11. I heard that Amy Grant song the other day on the radio and I thought it was very pretty! I can't believe you don't like Santa Baby.....seriously just joking! :)

    Thank you for sharing all these great songs. I only have two Christmas CD's, so this list will really help me next time I want to buy a Christmas CD.

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  12. I really need some advent music. Thanks for the suggestions.

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  13. Oooohh!!! So excited to listen to the Friar's music!! Yay for finding new stuff!!

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  14. Love new recommendations! Will definitely have to check these out.

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  15. Love Amy Grant Christmas, does it date me to realize I bought my copy of the CD when it was originally released? (I think it was 1992). You're right, Breath of Heaven is hands down, the best song on it. I labored with my second listening to it, that song has so much more meaning when you're listening to it 9 months pregnant at Christmas!

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    1. Oh, that's so neat! It really is the perfect birth song, right??

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  16. I hadn't heard of a few of these. Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Fun Advent post! Looking at adding some of these to my listening in the coming days.

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  18. I love this Christmas music thank you for the chance to win.

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  19. I keep looking at this CD and reaaly want it!! Thanks for the giveaway :-) :-) blessed Advent.

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  20. This sounds wonderful!

    Advent blessings~

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  21. I would just love to have more beautiful music for our family to listen to!

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  22. I just heard about Marian Grace on Carrots for Michaelmas - two times in one week means I must really be missing out on something!

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  23. Amy Grant is one of my favorites (and the Carpenters, because I'm old!)...but I'd love a new CD especially for Advent.

    PS my husband took me to an Amy Grant Christmas concert when I was pregnant with my daughter. I cried through the entire Breath of Heaven..like not enough tissues in my purse cry. Oh boy! I'm crying just thinking about that song.

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  24. I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the Marian Grace CD.

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  25. Ha, your number one is funny......I used to listen to it on cassette tape!! :) I've seen Marian Grace around and now I'm thinking I'll need to add it to my wishlist. Never heard of the friar before. It's so encouraging to hear/find out about current inspirational music/artists!! Thanks for the recommends!

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  26. LOVE LOVE LOVE Amy Grant's "Breath of Heaven"; Need to check out the others you recommended. Would love the opportunity to win. Thank you=)

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    1. ....Just watched the Youtube by Friar Alessandro, ...WOW!

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