Music to play after church during advent
  • Hi, I am a new organist in my local church and am looking for some music to play after service during the advent season. Usually, we sing hymns during service and after church the organist plays a short piece. Some of them I've been using are:
    Trumphet Tune
    Canon in d major
    jesus blibet meinee freunde

    But it would be nice if I could get some more like jesus blibet meinee freunde (related to Christianity and if possible to Advent).
    Thanks in advance.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    I have Advent pieces from Reger chorales, which are not as difficult as the name "Reger" usually suggests, to variations on Advent hymns. I play them as offertories or communion fillers. I don't play postludes to note that this season is a bit like Lent. Although the penitential aspect of the season seems lost, I try to call attention to the fact that Advent is not just the pre-Christmas shopping season. No trumpets or full-organ registrations either. Those come back for Midnight Mass.
    Thanked by 2Steve Q francis
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,655
    Musicam Sacram:

    VI. Sacred Instrumental Music

    62. Musical instruments can be very useful in sacred celebrations, whether they accompany the singing or whether they are played as solo instruments.

    "The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, since it is its traditional instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendor to the Church's ceremonies and powerfully lift up men's minds to God and higher things.

    "The use of other instruments may also be admitted in divine worship, given the decision and consent of the competent territorial authority, provided that the instruments are suitable for sacred use, or can be adapted to it, that they are in keeping with the dignity of the temple, and truly contribute to the edification of the faithful."43

    63. In permitting and using musical instruments, the culture and traditions of individual peoples must be taken into account. However, those instruments which are, by common opinion and use, suitable for secular music only, are to be altogether prohibited from every liturgical celebration and from popular devotions.44

    Any musical instrument permitted in divine worship should be used in such a way that it meets the needs of the liturgical celebration, and is in the interests both of the beauty of worship and the edification of the faithful.

    64. The use of musical instruments to accompany the singing can act as a support to the voices, render participation easier, and achieve a deeper union in the assembly. However, their sound should not so overwhelm the voices that it is difficult to make out the text; and when some part is proclaimed aloud by the priest or a minister by virtue of his role, they should be silent.

    65. In sung or said Masses, the organ, or other instrument legitimately admitted, can be used to accompany the singing of the choir and the people; it can also be played solo at the beginning before the priest reaches the altar, at the Offertory, at the Communion, and at the end of Mass.

    The same rule, with the necessary adaptations, can be applied to other sacred celebrations.

    66. The playing of these same instruments as solos is not permitted in Advent, Lent, during the Sacred Triduum and in the Offices and Masses of the Dead.

    67. It is highly desirable that organists and other musicians should not only possess the skill to play properly the instrument entrusted to them: they should also enter into and be thoroughly aware of the spirit of the Liturgy, so that even when playing ex tempore, they will enrich the sacred celebration according to the true nature of each of its parts, and encourage the participation of the faithful.
  • rogue63
    Posts: 410
    More honored in the breach than the observance, I'm afraid.
  • BruceL
    Posts: 1,036
    To be fair, the GIRM allows use of the organ for voluntaries in the season of Advent. #313 is the "cover" for this.

    That said, anything much louder or more active than the "quiet" Nun komm setting by Bach is probably too much. I would definitely not play preludes, either. Just my $0.02.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,597
    To be fair, the GIRM allows use of the organ for voluntaries in the season of Advent. #313 is the "cover" for this.

    Yes, it does. But I keep it rather low-key and restrict it as I stated in my earlier post. For us in the U.S., GIRM supersedes MS. I don't play preludes anyway, so not a factor at any time of the year.
    Thanked by 1kenstb
  • We don't have any organ during prelude, postlude, or "walking" moments in Advent. Repertoire selections are much easier that way ;-)
  • cmb
    Posts: 65
    4'33" by Cage is the perfect prelude, interlude and postlude for Advent and Lent. May be easily lengthened or shortened to fit the liturgical action.
  • Rachel,

    Thank you for posting.

    Your job is to play music when it is normally expected to be played. It is the custom in your church to have the organ play after the service. If the pastor wants to follow the strict rules, which are almost universally ignored today, about not having the organ playing before and after Mass, then don't play. Otherwise, not playing would bring attention to the fact that you are not playing...and people would be distracted. Instead of sitting or kneeling and praying after Mass, some would be thinking, "Why isn't she playing."

    IF the pastor decides to eliminate organ music during Advent, he would make an announcement or put it in the bulletin, since he is the one who makes the decisions about how closely the rubrics are followed.

    You will find some chorals like the one you like to play here:,_Johann)

    And some nice organ Music for Mass as well:


    Much of the music in these two books is written so pedals are optional!

    Thank you for posting your question. We need more organists and welcome you to the fold.

  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,933

    If you play that piece during Advent, don't forget to send in your royalties to the composer. If you cut it short or lengthen it by a second more or less then you're good.
    Thanked by 1Rachel
  • Thank you very much everyone. Yeah, my pastor does not say anything about not playing prelude/postlude during advent/lent. I am quite new to organ playing. There is another organist in my church who plays before, during communion and after church all the time and I pretty much follow his tracks. Thanks for letting me know about these. I will clarify with my pastor before playing next time.
  • cmb
    Posts: 65
    Good suggestions, Noel.

    In all seriousness, OP does not specify that she plays in a Catholic church. In fact, her use of the word "service" suggests otherwise. And while we Catholics observe Advent as a penitential season, that is seemingly not the case in other denominations. All that said, this appears to be a nice collection.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago
  • No "solo" preludes in my Presbyterian work church for Advent. Instead we have the candle lighting with a piece to go along with the reading for that week and so on...last year we used Bernadette forgetherlastname's Christ Be our Light for that through Advent-stuff like that. I still do offertory music though, generally something suited to the season. So yeah, just do whatever fits your situation and applicable rules/regulations/traditions/etc. good luck!
    Thanked by 1Rachel
  • Noel, while I don't have any serious problem with the advice that you posted, I do think that it wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing (from time to time) for people to be thinking "Why isn't she playing?" After all, there might be a good reason, and that good reason might occur to some of those people. And then they learned something.
    Thanked by 1noel jones, aago