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Why Do We Sing the Same Songs During Advent?


A listener named Katie asks why the Catholic Church doesn’t sing Christmas carols or hymns until Christmas Eve. She has noticed that we sing the same few songs during Advent (Like “O’Come O’Come Emmanuel”), but Christmas songs such as “Silent Night” or “O Holy Night” are not sung until Christmas Eve.

Father Dave responds, “That is because we believe that the season of Advent is a period of leading up to Christmas. Then, when we begin celebrating Christmas on Christmas Day and beyond that we continue to sing those Christmas songs throughout the Christmas season because the Christmas season continues after December 25,”

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“Advent is our period where we prepare for the coming of the Lord… Sometimes people will take that to another level and say that any Catholic who is singing Christmas carols before Christmas is violating Church teaching. No, certainly not, because there are many ways in which we can prepare for the coming of Christ and one of those ways might be getting excited and singing about it… I think the issue is that people think that on the 26 of December, we stop playing Christmas carols, but the Church carries the Christmas season all the way until the Baptism of the Lord, so we get a good amount of time to sing the Christmas carols!”