On this quiet and still Christmas Eve, this is what my heart longs for – the coming of Emmanuel – and this is what I am listening to.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.
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.
O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
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.
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.
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.
O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace.
(Translated from Latin to English by John Mason Neale)
For your listening pleasure, click on the video below for a moving instrumental version of this song.
Isaiah 9:6: For unto us a Child is born, for unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders, and His name shall be called wonderful, counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
“Great little One! whose all-embracing birth
Lifts Earth to Heaven, stoops Heaven to Earth.” ~ Richard Crashaw