Monday, December 27, 2010

My new favourite Carol

O come Emmanuel text
On Christmas Eve we went to the Varty's church and sungs some beautiful carols. After the service we drove up to Mt Seymour. As we drove higher and higher we started to see patches of snow on the side of the road. At the top we had a snow ball fight in the carpark in the dark and then home to warm up. We didn't have a white Christmas so this was a great way to get some white!

I think mum is the one who instilled in my sister Kirsty and I an appreciation for Carols. I especially think of her when singing Joy to the World. Here are some great carol inspired crafts Kirsty made this year and last (they're on her blog here and here.)
weary world


Some more on my new favourite carole: The words to O come, O come Emmanuel were originally written in latin in the 12th century (over 800 years ago - wowsers!). It was called Ve­ni, ve­ni Eman­u­el at the time. In 1851 it was trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by John M. Neale.

The text was added to music: Veni Em­man­u­el, from a 15th Cen­tu­ry pro­cess­ion­al of French Fran­cis­can nuns (the set­ting for the fu­ner­al hymn Libera me); ar­ranged by Thom­as Hel­more (no wonder it sounds sad).

I love the bible and am particularly fascinated by finding truth and prophetic meaning in the Old Testament. The website listed below pointed out that the lyrics echo a num­ber of pro­phet­ic themes:

* The ti­tle comes from the well known Isai­ah 7:14: “Be­hold, a vir­gin shall con­ceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Im­man­u­el.” Im­man­u­el is He­brew for “God with us.”
* The “Rod of Jesse” refers to Isai­ah 11:1: “There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jes­se”; Jesse was the fa­ther of Da­vid, se­cond king of Is­ra­el.
* “Day-Spring” comes from Za­cha­ri­as, fa­ther of John the Bap­tist, in Luke 1:78: “The day­spring from on high has vis­it­ed us.”
* “Thou Key of Da­vid” is in Isai­ah 22:22: “The key of the house of Da­vid will I lay up­on his shoul­der,” which in turn re­fers to Isai­ah 9:6 “The gov­ern­ment shall be up­on His shoul­der.”

Information from here. You mightn't be as interested in this as me, but just incase, here is the full version with some extra verses I haven't heard before. Such amazing poetry.

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.


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.


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.


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.


O come, O come, great Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes on Sinai’s height
In ancient times once gave the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.


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.


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.


(PS I know the drawing doesn't come out super well but all of the bits in the picture are things I picked up on my walk home from the grocery shop on Christmas Eve.)


  1. Emmanuel. Beautiful. Such a poetic carol. Interesting to read more about the origins and meaning to.

    It could also be a cute name.

    And I'm thinking of doing something next Christmas with "the Word became flesh and blood, and moved into the neighborhood."


  2. Hi Sharolyn, I love carols too. Your mum lent us some CDs that she said have some funny christmas songs that you and Kirsty liked. Maybe just your mum liked them. I haven't had a chance to listen to them yet.


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