Sometimes, musicians in my congregation ask me how to play a particular piece of music. That question normally leads to me whistling something in the back of the church. But during Advent, my advice is normally simple - "Play it like a waltz. If I can't dance to it, you're doing it wrong." It is amazing how many Advent hymns are waltzes.
I don't know why but the gentle 1 2 3 of a waltz is just the most hopeful of tunes. Perhaps it is that fourth beat "missing" that leaves us longing for more. Perhaps it is that the waltz is the first dance that I ever learned. There is something beautiful about a waltz that lends itself to the beauty of Advent.
If you haven't noticed, you can dance a waltz to all of these Advent favorites: