Friday, December 18, 2020

Saturday prior to Advent 4


The hymn of the day for tomorrow the 4th Sunday in the season of Advent, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel (LSB #357), is an ancient hymn based upon seven even more ancient antiphons (called the ‘O’ Antiphons) which were used in the Office at Vespers (the evening office) during the last seven days of Advent.

Each antiphon and each hymn stanza refers to a different title for Christ: Wisdom, Adonai (‘Lord’), Root (or Branch) of Jesse, Key of David, Dayspring, King of Nations, Emmanuel (‘God with Us’).

Christmas is only one week away. As you prepare to celebrate Christ’s coming into this world meditate on this wonderful ancient Latin hymn.

O come Thou Branch of Jesse’s tree.
Free them from Satan’s tyranny
That trust Thy mighty pow’r to save,
And give them vict’ry o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O Root of Jesse, standing as an ensign before the peoples, before whom all kings are mute, to whom the nations will do homage; Come quickly to deliver us.[1]    

[1] O Come, O Come Emmanuel, Lutheran Service Book © 2006 Concordia Publishing House, St. Louis

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