Friday, December 2, 2016

Six Disney Songs for Advent Dance Parties

I love the liturgical year, and I love celebrating according to the current season. So, during Advent, I really like to listen to Advent music. While Advent music is wonderful and awesome, a lot of my favorite Advent music happens to be chant. But, as much as I love chant, it's not my #1 pick for spontaneous dance parties while making dinner or cleaning the apartment. I happen to love listening to music from Disney movies, so I decided that I needed a special playlist of Disney music for Advent.  After all, if you're going to dance  while cooking pasta, why not put on music that can slightly fit some themes of the current liturgical season?



"For the First Time in Forever," Frozen
Princess Anna is so excited for the upcoming coronation! She whirls around in disbelief and excitement, knowing that her life will change. Joy and fellowship will enter her home! 

"Cause for the first time in forever
There'll be music, there'll be light
For the first time in forever
I'll be dancing through the night"

As we hear her gush about salad plates, chocolate, and the future, we can think about our own preparations: stockpiling (or eating) chocolate, setting up an Advent wreath, wrapping Christmas presents. We can also think about the spiritual preparations that we can (and should) make as we await the birth of the King of Kings. Will we prepare ourselves to truly rejoice-from the depths of our hearts-in the birth of Christ? 

"Someday My Prince Will Come," Snow White
The typical preschool-aged child probably thinks his is some lovey-dovey song that a princess sings in front of a bunch of dwarfs. While this is true, when I hear "Someday My Prince Will Come," I also think of the parousia, when Christ will come at the end of time. 

"Some day my prince will come
Some day I'll find my love
And how thrilling that moment will be
When the prince of my dreams comes to me"

We have it way better than Snow White, though. While she had a dreamy vision of a two-dimensional, fictional prince, we have a God whose love for us is so deep and intense that He sent His Son to die a horrible death and then rise, so that we may be united with Him in Heaven. And during this Advent, we can prepare ourselves for the day when those who have chosen to live for Christ will go "further up and further in" and delight in the eternal glories of Heaven and intense union with God. 

"Be Our Guest," Beauty and the Beast
Imagine: You are a servant who is stuck under enchantments, growing "flabby, fat and lazy" as you 'lie around the castle." It's dark, gloomy, and you're "not whole without a soul to wait upon." Suddenly, Belle appears and changes your life-and future-dramatically. 

"The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; upon those who lived in a land of gloom a light has shone." ~Is 9:1

When word spreads that a woman has appeared, the delightful array of servants at the castle spring into action, bubbling, brewing, cleaning, and preparing to make Belle at home. This reminds me very much of Advent. We light the Advent candle and think about the Light who is coming into the darkness of our world. We clean, bake, and scurry around so that our homes will be ready to celebrate and receive the Christ Child at Christmas. We should prepare ourselves so that on Christmas, we can look into the manger and say to God, with a heartfelt prayer, "Be my guest." 

"Almost There," Princess and the Frog
We're almost there! We're almost at Christmas. We need to keep up with our Advent practices (or start the ones that we've been meaning to start) because we're almost there!

"Trials and tribulations
I've had my share
There ain't nothin' gonna stop me now
'Cause I'ma almost there"

So when we can't find the Advent candles, the rolls burn, or we discover that we're behind on Advent devotions like the Jesse Tree, let Tiana's words encourage you, and push through to Christmas-because you're almost there!

"Go the Distance," Hercules 
This song just speaks so much to my heart about our longing for Heaven, our willingness to journey through the hardships of life-and Advent-to come to a deeper unity with Christ. With our eyes on the manger in Bethlehem, where we will see Christ on Christmas, we need to endure all that comes in Advent-the hardships and trials of daily life, the joys of preparation, the stresses of accomplishing tasks or dealing with relatives-and we can sing with Hercules, 

"I'll be there someday, I can go the distance
I will find my way if I can be strong 
I know every mile would be worth my while
When I go the distance, I'll be right where I belong"

However, journeying through Advent to adore Christ at Bethlehem is way more epic than travelling to a mythological Mount Olympus, and Heaven will be intensely more epic, so we have every reason in the world to be willing to journey through the trials of life and pursue God! 

"God Help the Outcasts," The Hunchback of Notre Dame
As I listen to Esmeralda's anguished cries, I find myself thinking of all of the people in Sacred Scripture-Jews, rejects, prophets-longing for God, crying out to God, waiting and hoping for the Messiah. 

"God help the outcasts
Hungry from birth
Show them the mercy

They don't find on earth"

During this liturgical season, we wait and long for the coming of Christ. We cry out to him from the darkness of the winter, the darkness of our world. We hold onto the hope and joy of His merciful love, as we wait for the celebration of His birth. And, remembering how Our Lord was rejected here on Earth, we can become motivated to go out and be a witness of love to those who are cast away from their families or society. 

Advent is such an amazing, blessed time to draw near to God and others, and I love looking at ways that we can integrate all aspects of life as we focus someday being fully united with God! I love that during Advent, I can change up my dance party playlist to incorporate songs that touch on the longing and journey we make through life. This list is not exhaustive, and I'm sure there are so many other fantastic Disney songs out there for Advent, so feel free to share your ideas! 

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