The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

For Advent

Also published as "Oh, Come, Oh, Come, Emmanuel"

Version 1
Compare: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - Version 2

See:
Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel

Words: Veni, Veni, Emanuel (the "O" Antiphons),
Authorship Unknown, 8th Century Latin;
Published: Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum, Köln, 1710.

Translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale, Draw Nigh, Draw Nigh, Emmanuel
in Mediaeval Hymns and Sequences, 1851.
Neale's original translation began, "Draw nigh, draw nigh, Emmanuel."
Neale only translated 5 of the 7 Antiphons (See Notes, below).

This version by John Mason Neale, "Altered by Compilers.

Music: "Veni Emmanuel," 15th Century French Plain Song melody,
Arranged and harmonized by Thomas Helmore in
Hymnal Noted, Part II (London: 1854).
Based on a 15th Century French Processional
(Some sources give a Gregorian, 8th Century origin.)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML
Melody Only: MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Alternate Music: "St. Petersburg," Dimitri S. Bortniansky
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / Sheet Music / XML
"Veni Emmanuel," Charles F. Gounod (1818-1893)
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Meter: 88 88 88

Source: Louis Coucier Biggs, ed., Hymns Ancient and Modern (London: Novello & Co., 1867), #36, pp. 40-41.
Also found in J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young (New York: James Pott & Company, 1887), #48, pp. 76-7.

"The Redeemer shall come to Zion"
Isaiah 59:20

1. O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel1
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

2. O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free2
Thine own from Satan's tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory o'er the grave. Refrain

3. O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night
And death's dark shadows put to flight!2a Refrain

4. 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

5. O come, O come, Thou Lord of Might,3
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times didst give the law4
In cloud, and majesty, and awe. Refrain

Sheet Music from Louis Coucier Biggs, ed., Hymns Ancient and Modern (London: Novello & Co., 1867), #36, pp. 40-41.

 

Notes from Various Sources:

1. Or: 'Immanuel' Return

    Another refrain:

    "Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel.
    To thee shall come Emmanuel."
        (John Michael Talbot)

2. Or: O come, Thou 'Branch' of Jesse, free Return

2a. Or: 'And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light!' Return

3. Or: O come, O come, 'Great' Lord of might, Return

4. Or: In ancient times 'did’st' give the Law. Or: In ancient times once gave the law Return

Alternate Second Verses, Translator Unknown:

2. O come, Thou Root of Jesse's tree,
An ensign of Thy people be;
Before Thee rulers silent fall;
All peoples on Thy mercy call.

2. O come, thou Rod of Jesse’s stem
From every foe deliver them
That trust thy mighty power to save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.

2. O come, thou Branch of Jesse’s Tree
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust thy mighty power to save,
And give them Victory o’er the grave.

Alternate Third Verses, Translators Unknown

3. O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

3. O come, O Dayspring, come and cheer
Our spirits by thine advent here
And drive away the shades of night
And pierce the clouds and bring us light.

3. O come, thou Day-spring from on high,
And cheer us by thy drawing night;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadow put to flight.

Alternate Fifth Verses, Translators Unknown

5. O come, O come, Thou Lord of Might,
Who once, from Sinai’s flaming height
Didst give the trembling tribes Thy law
In cloud, and majesty, and awe.

5. O come, O come, thou Lord of Might,
Who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
In ancient times didst give the law,
In cloud, and majesty, and awe.


Additional Verse, Translator possibly T. A. Lacey (Original Verse 1):

O come, thou Wisdom from on high!
Who madest all in earth and sky,
Creating man from dust and clay:
To us reveal salvation’s way.

Additional Verse, Translator Unknown (Original Verse 1):

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest [ordered] all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach [cause] us in her ways to go.


Alternate Additional Verse, Translator possibly T. A. Lacey (Original Verse 6):

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.

Alternate Additional Verse; Translator Unknown (Original Verse 6):

O come, Desire of nations, bind
In one the hearts of all mankind;
O Bid our sad divisions cease,
And be for us our king of peace.

O Come, Desire of Nations! Show
Thy kingly reign on earth below;
Thou Corner-stone, uniting all,
Restore the ruin of our fall.

Additional Verses, Translated by Rev. Henry Sloane Coffin, 1916:

2. O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
And order all things, far and nigh;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And cause us in her ways to go. Refrain.

3. O come, Desire of nations, bind
All peoples in one heart and mind;
Bid envy, strife and quarrels cease;
Fill the whole world with heaven’s peace. Refrain.

These verses occurred in Henry Sloane Coffin and Ambrose White Vernon, eds., Hymns of the Kingdom of God. Revised (New York: The A.S. Barnes Company, 1916), Hymn #37. Verse one was the translation by Rev. John Mason Neale.

For more information about Henry Sloane Coffin, see Pastor, educator, ecumenist: Henry Sloan Coffin (1877-1954), a "Presbyterian Heritage" article by James H. Smylie, June 6/13, 2005, at The Presbyterian Outlook. Coffin's noted work Some Christian Convictions: A Practical Restatement in Terms of Present-Day Thinking is reproduced at Project Gutenberg. Links open in new windows at exterior sites.


Sheet Music from J. H. Hopkins, ed., Great Hymns of the Church Compiled by the Late Right Reverend John Freeman Young. New York: James Pott & Company, 1887, #48, pp. 76-7.

Latin text: "Mozarabic Breviary."
"Melody from a French Missal.
Harmonized by H. R. Schrœder."

John Mason Neale and Thomas Helmore, eds., Hymnal Noted - Parts I and II. London: Novello, 1851, 1856.

Veni, Veni Emmanuel, #65, p. 131

The Greater Antiphons, pp. 207-209.

Sheet Music from George C. Martin, The Book of Common Praise. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1909, #63.

From Hymnal Noted,
1856

By Charles F. Gounod, 1818-1893

Sheet Music from O. Hardwig, ed., The Wartburg Hymnal. Chicago: Wartburg Publishing House, 1918, #78

Sheet Music: "Veni, O Sapientiæ" from Nicola A. Montani, ed., The St. Gregory Hymnal And Catholic Choir Book. Philadelphia: St. Gregory Guild, 1920, #2.

Sheet Music by Charles F. Gounod (1818-1893, 1872) from the Hymnal and Liturgies of the Moravian Church. Bethlehem, PA: Provincial Synod, 1920, #106.

Sheet Music "St. Petersburg" by Dimitri S. Bortniansky (1752-1828) from Andreas Bersagel, et al, eds., The Concordia Hymnal. Minneapolis: Augsburg Publishing House, 1932, #118

See A Garritan Community Christmas for an MP3:
O Come O Come Emmanuel, Jim Hammer

See and play the Noteworthy Composer score if you have installed the
NoteWorthy Composer Browser Plug-in

"Veni Immanuel" - SATB

O_Come,_O_Come,_Emmanuel

"Veni Immanuel" - Melody Only

O Come, O Come Emmanuel - Melody

"St. Petersburg," Dimitri S. Bortniansky

St._Petersburg

"Veni Emmanuel," Charles F. Gounod

Veni_Emmanuel - Gounod

Only tested by Noteworthy for Netscape, Opera, and IE Browsers (Versions 4 or 5)
In my experience, it also works with Firefox.

Notes:

"Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son,
and shall call his name Emmanuel."
Isaiah 7:14

This Advent hymn, written in 1851 by the Rev. John Mason Neale (1818-66), was based on one of the oldest of Christian prayers — referred to as the "O" Antiphons, the "Greater" Antiphons, and "The Seven O’s."

The "Greater" Antiphons are, in their original order:

  1. "O Sapientia, quae ex ore altissimi..." (O Wisdom from on high...)
  2. "O Adonai et dux domus Israel..." (O Lord and leader of the house of Israel...)
  3. "O Radix Jesse qui stas in signum populorum..." (O Root of Jesse who stood as a standard of the people...)
  4. "O Clavis David et sceptrum domus..." (O Key of David and scepter of our home...)
  5. "O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae..." (O Dayspring, splendor of eternal light...)
  6. "O Rex gentium et desideratus..." (O longed-for King of the nations...)
  7. "O Emmanuel, rex et legifer noster..." (O Emmanuel, our king and law-giver...)

The full text of these, with notes, can be seen at: The O Antiphons (which also includes some possible scriptural underpinnings. For more, please see Notes on Veni, Veni, Emmanuel.

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