Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Favorite Carol

The following is my personal favorite Christmas hymn.  I actually love both its melancholy verses and triumphant refrain.  It always draws me into the story of redemption in a way that most of the other Chrismas songs just don't.  You'll note perhaps more verses here than you have traditionally sung, but these belong to the song as traditionally sung in tandem over the Sundays of Advent.  Tradition says it began in the twelfth century though it most certainly began in the fifteenth.  As I'm wishing you a Merry Christmas this evening (and a happy new year)...I'm just wondering...what is your favorite Christmas hymn and why?

O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
Refrain
Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Wisdom from on high,
Who orderest all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.
Refrain
O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny;
From depths of hell Thy people save,
And give them victory over the grave.
Refrain
O come, Thou Day-spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Refrain
O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home;
Make safe the way that leads on high,
And close the path to misery.
Refrain
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.
Refrain
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.
Refrain
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

1 comment:

  1. This is also my favourite, for exactly the same reasons. You have good taste, my friend.

    In second place, I'd probably put O Holy Night on account of a single phrase:

    "He appeared, and the soul felt its worth."

    I once heard a sermon about this phrase, which I had not noticed up to that point, and I've never since been able to hear the song without feeling a deep surge of worth at the thought of our Lord's incarnation. How beloved we must be!

    Blessings on you and yours, Rick, and I look forward to seeing you in the new year.

    ReplyDelete

Your comments and questions are always appreciated. :-)