Understanding “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”

One thing that Christmas reminds me of is the Advent Season: the four Sundays of Advent, the four Advent candles, and of course, the Advent Wreath. Basically, the season of Advent represents the beginning of the liturgical calendar (the time frame that the Roman Catholic Church follows for the Holy Mass) and the coming of Jesus Christ.

I am in charge of choosing the songs for the first morning service in our Church. As such, I opted to have the song, “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” as our post-communion song. I was going over my copy of the lyrics and a hunch made me feel that it wasn’t right.

Thank goodness for the Internet for I was able to check and iron out the correct words to the song! I found the following Latin lyrics and their translation on this site:

1. VENI veni, Emmanuelcaptivum solve Israel,qui gemit in exsilio,privatus Dei Filio.R: Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel,nascetur pro te Israel!

1. O COME, O come, Emmanuel,and ransom captive Israel,that morns in lonely exile hereuntil the Son of God appear.R: Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,to thee shall come Emmanuel!

2. Veni, O Sapientia,quae hic disponis omnia,veni, viam prudentiaeut doceas et gloriae. R.

2. O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,and order all things far and nigh;to us the path of knowledge show,and teach us in her ways to go. R.

3. Veni, veni, Adonai,qui populo in Sinailegem dedisti verticein maiestate gloriae. R.

3. O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,who to thy tribes on Sinai’s heightin ancient times did give the law,in cloud, and majesty, and awe. R.

4. Veni, O Iesse virgula,ex hostis tuos ungula,de spectu tuos tartarieduc et antro barathri. R.

4. O come, Thou Rod of Jesse’s stem,from ev’ry foe deliver themthat trust Thy mighty power to save,and give them vict’ry o’er the grave. R.

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

5. O come, Thou Key of David, come,and open wide our heav’nly home,make safe the way that leads on high,that we no more have cause to sigh. R.

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

6. O come, Thou Dayspring from on high,and cheer us by thy drawing nigh;disperse the gloomy clouds of nightand death’s dark shadow put to flight. R.

7. Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,veni, Redemptor omnium,ut salvas tuos famulospeccati sibi conscios. R.

7. O come, Desire of the nations, bindin one the hearts of all mankind;bid every strife and quarrel ceaseand fill the world with heaven’s peace. R.


Thanks very much to the site’s webmaster, Michael Martin, for maintaining a helpful resource. GOD bless you, man! 😀

I also found out that particular verses are sung during particular Sundays of Advent, along with the refrain. They are as follows:

  1. First Sunday of Advent: first and second verses
  2. Second Sunday of Advent: third and fourth verses
  3. Third Sunday of Advent: fifth and sixth verses
  4. Fourth Sunday of Advent: first and seventh verses

Interesting! It does lend a dynamic order to the song. Hope this helps you and your Church, dear reader! Cheers! 😀


Published by

Recis Dempayos

Budding YouTuber / vlogger, occasional blogger, aspiring multimedia artist.

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