Thursday, December 24, 2009

O come, O come Emmanuel

The song "O Come, Oh Come Emmanuel" is a convenient summary of Isaiah's prophecies about the Messiah: divine Wisdom (Sapientia), the Lord (Adonai), the stump of Jesse's family (Radix Jesse), the key of David's kingdom (Clavis David), the rising sun (Oriens), the king of the Gentiles (Rex Gentium), and the presence of God (Emmanuel). Spelled backwards, the first letter of each titular prophecy connotes doubly the upcoming celebration of Christmas, as well as the eventuality of the final Judgment (ERO CRAS, meaning Tomorrow I will come).

The song was originally composed in French sometime in the 12th century, with the Latin lyrics done sometime in the 18th century.

Veni, veni, Emmanuel
captivum solve Israel,
qui gemit in exsilio,
privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,
nascetur pro te Israel!


Veni, O Sapientia,
quae hic disponis omnia,
veni, viam prudentiae
ut doceas et gloriae.

Veni, veni, Adonai,
qui populo in Sinai
legem dedisti vertice
in maiestate gloriae.

Veni, O Iesse virgula,
ex hostis tuos ungula,
de spectu tuos tartari
educ et antro barathri.

Veni, Clavis Davidica,
regna reclude caelica,
fac iter tutum superum,
et claude vias inferum.

Veni, veni O Oriens,
solare nos adveniens,
noctis depelle nebulas,
dirasque mortis tenebras.

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,
veni, Redemptor omnium,
ut salvas tuos famulos
peccati sibi conscios.

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