Veni, veni Emmanuel
Veni, veni Emmanuel. Latin, in use by the 13th century. This metrical text has its origin in the Magnificat* Antiphons sung during Vespers* in the days before Christmas Eve, from 17 to 23 December. They were known as ‘the Great O’s’, seven in number:
O Sapientia, quae ex ore altissimi
O Adonai et dux domus Israel
O Radix Jesse qui stas in signum
O Clavis David et spectrum domus
O Oriens, splendor lucis aeternae
O Rex gentium et desideratus
O Emmanuel, rex et legifer
These were translated by John Henry Newman* and printed in Tracts for the Times, no 75 (1836), and by other 19th-century translators (see JJ, pp. 73-4). The complete set of ‘The Great Advent Antiphons’ in English prose...
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