Tuesday, December 17, 2019

O ANTIPHONS




The Story Behind O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

"O come, O come, Emmanuel" is a Christian hymn for Advent and Christmas. It is a translation of a Latin hymn, "Veni, Veni, Emmanuel." The 1861 translation, by John Mason Neale, from Hymns Ancient and Modern is the most notable in the English-speaking realm, but other English translations also endure. Adaptations into other modern languages (particularly German) are also in broad use.

The lyrics and the melody for "O come, O come, Emmanuel" emerged independently. The Latin text is first documented in Germany in 1710, whereas the melody most commonly associated in the English-speaking world has its origins in 15th-century France.


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The Seven Stanzas are Appointed to the 7 Days Leading to the Christmas Vigil on Christmas Eve, each being a part of the liturgy for Daily Prayer in preparation for Christmas

(These stanzas adapted for gender inclusive langauge)

December 18
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Anointed One of God appears.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

December 19
O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

December 20
O come, O come, great God of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

December 21
O come, O Branch of Jesse's stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o'er the grave.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

December 22
O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death's abode.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

December 23
O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

December 24
O come, O Sovereign of all nations, bind
in one the hearts of all humankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be for us your Kin-Dom's Peace.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

( — and an added stanza — )

December 25
O come, O Holy, Mighty, Immortal One
Your justice be for all people won.
Let equity our equal measure prove
your liberating love among us move.
Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

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The biblical source of the names in each stanza:

As Immanuel (Isaiah 8:8) — “God with us” — the promise of the covenant that God is always with us. In everytime, in every place, beyond time and place, God embrasses us in the Presence that is Holy, Mighty, and Immortal.


As the Rod of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1) — a sprig springing from a dead stump — the promise of the covenant that God is able, and willing, to bring new life even into that which is dead. A dead stump becomes the new life bursting forth.

As the Day-Spring (Malachi 4:2) — the sun of righteousness dawns — the promise of the covenant that as sure as the sun sets into night, and the sun rises into dawn, the light of God's love will shine, even in every darkness.

As the Key of David (Isaiah 22:22) — the unlocking of a door — the promise of the covenant that the Kin-Dom of God is opened. Here and now, in everything that follows, the Kin-Dom of God is opened for all. All means all.

As the Desire of Nations (Haggai 2:7) — the yearning of humankind — the promise of the covenant that the pining of every people will be satisfied in the peace of God's Kin-Dom, where peace is shalom, the (w)holistic wellness of being where justice and peace are at the core of all life and living.

As the great God of Might (Genesis 49:25) — the one who is omnipotence — the promise of the covenant that there is nothing that God cannot do. God brings to creation the recreation of all things, the redemption of all that has come undone, and the sustaining presence that will bring all, without regard to our thoughts and acts of exclusion, into the Kin-Dom.

As the Sovereign of the Nations (Ezekiel 5:5) — the ruler who unites — the promise of the covenant that we were created as one, flesh and blood from the common earth, that our unity is found in diversity, and that are unity is made perfect in the God of all peoples.


As the Wisdom from on High (Proverbs 8.1)    the Spirit that brings truth  the promise that the Spirit of God will reveal and be incarnate truth, in being, in intention, and in action. Wisdom makes the pathway. Wisdom shows the pathway in our everyday journey. Wisdom guides us in the way of God.

As the Trisagion: "Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal" (thrice holy) from ancient liturgy
  the three qualities of God's nature, essence, and being are sung in praise to the glory of the One who made and keeps the covenant in which we are "who and whose" we are.

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