O come, O come, Emmanuel – The Piano Guys

Listen to this beautiful rendition of O Come, O Come Emmanuel by the Piano Guys. If you would like to know more of the origins of this beautiful Christmas song, read on.

This is one of my favourite Christmas songs, for the very fact that you cannot miss who Jesus is from the very first line – God with us, Emmanuel! This song recognises Christ’s first arrival, and makes us long for His second, expressed in most eloquent theology. Yet who is the author, you may ask? It was penned in Latin by an unnamed European monk, sometime before the 8th century A.D. He must have had a unique and rich knowledge of the Bible, shown by the way he weaves together several Old Testament prophecies about the coming of the Messiah: “the rod of Jesse,” the “Dayspring from on high,” the “Key of David,” and “Wisdom from on high.”  For Medieval Christians who did not have a Bible to read, this valuable song would help them know and understand and teach others what the hope of Christ was all about. In the early 19th century an Anglican priest named John Mason Neale came across the hymn in an ancient book called the “Psalteroium Cantionum Catholicarum.” The tune that went with the text was from a 15th century French Franciscan convent of nuns ministering in Portugal. Rev. Neale translated the Latin into English and gave the world a song.

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 o’er the grave.
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 shadows put to flight.
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,
And close the path to misery.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice ! Rejoice ! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

 

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