Sparkling Vintage Fiction. Among other things.

Sunday Serenade: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

o comeO Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Here’s a gorgeous instrumental arrangement of my favorite Advent hymn. This arrangement might not be particularly “vintage,” but the tune is.  O Come, O Come Emmanuel dates back at least to the twelfth century–possibly farther–and is based on Isaiah 7:14, an Old Testament prophecy which foretells the coming of the Messiah to ancient Israel–a prophecy that would be fulfilled in the birth of Jesus Christ. It says, “Therefore the Lord has given you a sign: behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel” (or Emmanuel, an alternate English spelling). For Christians who mark Advent as a time of reflection and preparation for Christmas, this hymn is especially appropriate. Originally it was sung in Latin. The English translation is:

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,
and order all things far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and teach us in her ways to go.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!
O come, O come, Thou Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law,
in cloud, and majesty, and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,
from ev’ry foe deliver them
that trust Thy mighty power to save,
and give them vict’ry o’er the grave.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
and open wide our heav’nly home,
make safe the way that leads on high,
that we no more have cause to sigh.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!
O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,
and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!
O come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven’s peace.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel!
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