November 29, 2009

First Sunday of Advent

“Veni, veni, Emmanuel” is one of the most solemn Advent hymns, whose melody was quoted by Ottorino Respighi in “The Gift of the Magi” in his Trittico Botticelliano. It is believed that the traditional music stems from a 15th Century French processional for Franciscan nuns, but it may also have 8th Century Gregorian origins.

Today is the first Sunday of Advent. To live it properly, I thought the listening of this wonderful hymn, sang by the choir of Paderborn Cathedral (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany), might be helpful.

The popular English version (“O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” see below) from the original Latin is by John Mason Neale (mid-19th century).

I wish you a blessed Advent season!



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 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.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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.
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'st give the Law,
In cloud, and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.



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