Monday, December 23, 2013

Chapter I: Advent - The O Antiphones: Emmanuel

The Seventh (and Last) of the Great O Antiphons
O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Saviour:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.
The original Latin:
O Emmanuel, Rex et legifer noster,
exspectatio Gentium, et Salvator earum:
veni ad salvandum nos, Domine, Deus noster.
The last of the Great O Antiphons is still based on the Prophet Isaiah words.

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin will conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. -Isaiah 7:14
Christmas Eve is tomorrow! The tension increases, and we cannot wait for the birth of our Saviour!

And still we wait, and we even mourn. Tomorrow is the Day when we feel the greatest tension between the anticipation of Advent and the celebration of Christmas... But as it approaches, both become keener in our hearts.

The lyrics from O Come, O Come Emmanuel inspired by the last O Antiphon are also the most well known. Oddly, they have become the first verse of this Advent hymn, but they are no less powerful for being well known:
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!  

Veni veni, Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.
Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!

No comments:

Post a Comment