“O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

simeonjesusWhat treasure contemporary worship churches are missing!

Rev. J. V. Fesko, Academic Dean and Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Seminary California, wrote an analysis of one of my favorite Christmas hymns, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” In his article, he traces the Biblical and historical bases of the hymn, which has a thoroughly redemptive-historical theme. Fesko concludes,

This hymn, though typically employed to celebrate a man-made “holy day,” is grounded in the unfolding drama of God’s revelation that culminates in the advent of Christ… Let us therefore celebrate the birth of our Lord on God’s appointed day by moving from the shadow lands of the Old Testament, the land of promises and types, into the fullness of the light of the revelation of Christ.

To read his whole article, click here. Listen to a full orchestral rendition of the hymn here.

If you want to learn this hymn, you can sing-along with the tune and lyrics below:

From: Isaiah 7:14 (“Emmanuel”); Isaiah 40:1-2 (“ransom captive Israel”); Exodus story (Verse 2); Isaiah 11:1 (“Root of Jesse”); Luke 1:78 (“Dayspring”); Revelation 3:7 (“Key of David”)

Tune: Veni Emmanuel
Composer: 9th century Latin hymn

1. 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 thee, O Israel!

2. O come, O come, thou Lord of might,
Who to thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

3. O come, thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell thy people save,
And give them victory o’er the grave.

4. O come, thou Dayspring from on high
And cheer us by thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

5. O come, thou Key of David, come
And open wide our heav’nly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.


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