O come, O come Emmanuel

O come, O come Emmanuel. Latin, possibly 12th century, translated by John Mason Neale* (1818-1866). The Latin text, beginning ‘Veni, veni Emmanuel’*, has its origins in the Antiphons used at Vespers during Advent, beginning on 17 December. There were seven ‘greater Antiphons’ sung before and after the Magnificat*: O Sapientiae, quae ex ore altissimi O Adonai et dux domus Israel O Radix Jesse qui stas in signum O Clavis David et sceptrum domus O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae O Rex gentium et desideratus O Emmanuel, rex et legifer The first letter of these Antiphons, read upwards, spells ‘ero cras’ (I will be [born] tomorrow). At some time, probably in the 12th century, a...

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