O come, O come, Emmanuel

Unknown-1Today is Christmas and I know I’ve been having a little fun in my last few posts- especially about pooping figurines in the nativity scene. But on this morning, Christmas morning, I want to be a little more serious and take a brief look at my favorite Christmas hymn: O come, O come, Emmanuel.

images-1The song was originally composed in Latin, as Veni, veni Emanuel, in the 12th century and the author and the musical arrangement are unknown but the arrangement possibly came from a 15th century processional for French Franciscan nuns. The song was translated into English by John M. Neale and published in 1851.John M Neale

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The lyrics of this song are extremely powerful and evoke a variety of biblical images.

The lyrics are as follows:

O come, O come, Emmanuel

and ransom captive Israel,

that mourns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel

O come, thou Wisdom from on high,

who orderest all things mightily;

to us the path of knowledge show,

and teach us in her ways to go.

Refrain

O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free

thine own from Satan’s tyranny;

from depths of hell thy people save,

and give them victory over the grave

Refrain

O come, thou Dayspring, come and cheer

our spirits by thine advent here;

disperse the gloomy clouds of night,

and death’s dark shadows put to flight

Refrain

O come, thou Key of David, come

and open wide our heavenly home;

make safe the way that leads of high

and close the path to misery.

Refrain

O come, O come, great Lord of might,

who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height

in acient times once gave the law

in cloud and majesty and awe.

Refrain

O come, thou Root of Jesse’s tree,

an ensign of the people be;

before three rulers silent fall;

all people on thy mercy call.

Refrain

O come, Desire of nations, bind

in one the hearts of all mankind;

bid thou our sad divisions cease,

and be thyself our King of Peace

Refrain

O come, O come, Emmanuel

and ransom captive Israel,

that mourns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!

Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

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Rejoice that Emmanuel has come! Rejoice that Emmanuel is coming again!

Merry Christmas!

© Ryan Vanderland 2012

One response to “O come, O come, Emmanuel

  1. Very nice! I always liked the melody, but had never really dwelt on the weight of those words. Praise God for ransoming me from my captivity!!!

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