Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Advent 2011: "O come, O come Emmanuel"

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Look, the young woman* is with child and shall bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel.*  Isaiah 7:14

Tonight we have a song - song which tells the story of a savior to come.  It is a song which tells of a prophecy found in Isaiah and fulfilled in Matthew 1:23. This song was once chanted by monks, one verse per day on the seven days leading up to Christmas, to represent the different views of the Messiah.
In the 1850’s, the verses to a chant probably written by a monk were published.  John Mason Neale, translated the words to English and paired them with “Veni Emmanuel”, a processional for Portugese nuns, and history evolved the song into what we know today.

 Christmas Adventus 2011:  Leave tonight’s bag empty.  Tonight, our bag is empty because we are waiting for a promise to be fulfilled.  It is God’s promise which is made throughout history.  It is the promise of a savior.  A savior who has already come, gone but will come again.  Tonight, we remember a promise fulfilled by a baby, in poor family, in a cold stable, many years ago.
Turn down the lights.  Turn on your luminaries.  Sing this song.  Can you hear the chants of the monks?  Can you move in procession as the nuns?  Can you hear Isaiah’s promise of a savior?  Do you hear Matthew’s savior delivered?

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 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 on high,
and close the path to misery. Refrain

O come, O come, Adonai,
Who in thy glorious majesty
From Sinai’s mountain, clothes in awe,
Gavest thy folk the elder law. Refrain
Stories Behind the Best-Loved Songs of Christmas
by Ace Collins, 2001

For a recording of this song, go to our Christmas Adventus 2011 page.
For our other Advent activities, see "Christmas Adventus 2011: Celebrating Allergy-Free".

No comments:

Post a Comment