Sunday, December 21, 2003

coming soon

We sang the last four verses of O Come, O Come Emmanuel this morning:

O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to thy tribes on Sinai's height
in ancient times once gave the law
in cloud and majesty and awe.
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, thou Root of Jesse's tree,
an ensign of thy people be;
before thee rulers silent fall;
all peoples on thy mercy call.

O come, Desire of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace. Refrain

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear. Refrain
(Words: Latin, twelfth century;
trans. John Mason Neale (1818-1866), 1851
MIDI: Veni Emmanuel (fifteenth century plainsong)

The last verse is a return to the beginning of Advent, and the sopranos sang their descant, giving it even more emphasis. This morning, singing of Israel that mourns in lowly exile, I thought of the sadness of the world and the need for hope and light.

The gospel reading was about Mary and Elizabeth's meeting, their joy in their pregnancies, and their song singing. We rang bells to punctuate the chanted Magnificat at the beginning of the service and throughout the Psalm chanting.

No comments: