Monday, December 17, 2012

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Today begin the O Antiphons at the Magnificat, which lead us into Christmas.  Each invokes the Savior under one of his biblical titles, bidding Him to come to his people.  The series begins with O Sapientia (O Wisdom):

O Wisdom, coming forth from the mouth of the Most High,
reaching from one end to the other mightily,
and sweetly ordering all things:
Come and teach us the way of prudence.

In the Middle Ages, the O Antiphons were set as one hymn text, Veni, veni, Emmanuel,  translated in the 19th century by John Mason Neale into another of the great, if not the greatest, Advent hymns, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.