O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

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Lyrics & Sheet Music

9th Century Latin hymn
Translated by John Mason Neale

The text of this hymn are called “O Antiphons” and are sung in anticipation one each night of the week before Christmas Eve. Each antiphon is a Biblical name of Christ. Hymnologist C. Michael Hawn lists these antiphons as:

O Sapentia (Wisdom)
O Adonai (Hebrew word for God)
O radix Jesse (stem or root of Jesse)
O clavis David (key of David)
O Oriens (dayspring)
O Rex genitium (King of the Gentiles)
O Emmanuel

Additionally, the order of the antiphons are an acrostic spelling SARCORE. SARCORE backwards forms “ero cras” which means “I will be present tomorrow.”

VENI EMMANUEL, a 15th Century processional of French Franciscan nuns
arranged by Thomas Helmore, 1856

Hymn history by hymnologist C. Michael Hawn at UMC Discipleship Ministries

Hawn, C. Michael. “History of Hymns: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.’” Discipleship Ministries. The United Methodist Church. Web. 21 Oct. 2016.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.”Cyberhymnal.org. CyberHymnal. Web. 19 Oct. 2016.

Share a comment with your favorite recorded version or other resources for this hymn.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I enjoy Sufjan Stevens’s album Songs for Christmas which includes O Come O Come Emmanuel. He has a few instrumental versions but also a clearly sung version. Available to listen to for free on Spotify.


    Also, for something unique to watch here is an a capella version:

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