O Come, O Come Emmanuel lyrics

My apologies if this has been asked before, but I searched and couldn’t find a thread that seemed to answer my question. So here’s the question…

As a member of the music ministry in my parish, I’ve been asked why the Protestants sing a different version of the chorus of O Come, O Come Emmanuel. I didn’t know the answer, and have actually wondered that for most of my life but just never took the time to find out. I’m sure you all know what I mean: in our hymnals, it goes “Rejoice, rejoice oh Israel, to thee shall come Emmanuel” but when singing it with people of other Christian faiths or at other Advent/Christmas celebrations other than strictly Catholic ones, it always goes “…Emmanuel shall come to thee oh Israel”.

Does anyone know why this is?

The hymn was originally written by John Mason Neale, an Anglican priest, adapting a collection of Latin antiphons. The original version is the second one you give. I would suspect that the version in your hymnal is a modern rewrite attempting to eliminate the confusion that arises when people think the words are, “Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel! Shall come to thee, O Israel.” (i.e., addressing Emmanuel and telling him to rejoice, followed by a weird half-sentence), versus “Rejoice, rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel” (an exclamation, followed by a sentence addressing Israel; this is the correct understanding).

EDIT: By the way, you can always try the Google test. Standard version? 14,300 hits. Your version? 157 hits.

Any Catholic parish I have been to has sung it …shall come to thee O Israel…not the other way

We have only ever sung it out of the CBW II, perhaps this is why?

That would be my guess, yeah.

At my Parish, we have CBW II and I have opted to simply copy the chant version of Veni, Veni, Emmanuel rather than to deal with the differences found in the CBW II Version. In addition to the altered refrain, the Choir editions contain 5 verses for O Come, O Come, Emmanuel while the Pew editions contain only 4. Also, two of the Choir verses are not found in the Pew edition at all. I’m not sure how the mix-up happened but I learned that lesson a few years ago when I went onto verse five and my cantor looked up at me with wide eyes after running out of verses!

CBW III has the other version of the refrain and 7 or 8 verses.

From fisheasters

English Version: O Come, Emmanuel
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.

Gaude, gaude, Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

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

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

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

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te, Israel.

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

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te Israel.

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

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te Israel.

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

Gaude, gaude Emmanuel
Nascetur pro te Israel. Come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that morns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

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.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

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

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

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

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

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.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

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

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

O come, Desire of the nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind;
bid every strife and quarrel cease
and fill the world with heaven’s peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel!

Haha, this has happened to us on more than one occasion, prompting my mother (who is the music ministry coordinator) to write “NOT in other books” beside the fifth verse in her choir edition :smiley:
Perhaps we should also copy out the original version for Advent next year.

[quote=Phemie]CBW III has the other version of the refrain and 7 or 8 verses.
[/quote]

This is good to know!

Thanks for your help guys!

I’m so glad to see this discussion. The way we sing it now is the opposite of the way did it when I was a kid. We used to sing Rejoice Rejoice O Israel…and now we sing it the other way…I had to highlight it in my hymnal and put a sticky note on the side to remind me. Nobody else in choir (all much younger than me) knew it that way, and I thought I was having a senior moment.

I don’t think this is a Catholic/non-Catholic divide.

In the English translation of *Liturgia Horarum *,“The Divine Office”, used by the Catholic Church in Australia, UK, Ireland and many other parts of the world, the hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” has, as its chorus:

Rejoice, rejoice, Emmanuel
shall come to thee, O Israel.

Just the translation being used.

Linda Ronstadt sings Israel… Emmanuel
Bette Midler sings Emmanuel… Israel
Beth Nielsen Chapman and also Hayley Westenra sing in Latin…

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

Veni, Veni Emmanuel is a synthesis of the great “O Antiphons” that are used for Vespers during the octave before Christmas (Dec. 17-23). These antiphons are of ancient origin, dating back to at least the ninth century. The hymn itself, though, is much more recent. Its first appeared in the 18th century in the Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum (Cologne 1710).

There are several arrangements of this hymn. The one below gives the seven verses in the order in which the antiphons appear during the octave before Christmas, except for the first verse, which really is the last of the O antiphons and would otherwise go at the end if it were not the standard first verse of the hymn. It is interesting to note that the initial words of the actual antiphons in reverse order form an acrostic: O Emmanuel, O Rex, O Oriens, O Clavis, O Radix (“virgula” in the hymn), O Adonai, O Sapientia. ERO CRAS can be loosely translated as “I will be there tomorrow”. That is a fitting message indeed since Christ’s birth falls on the following day.

preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Hymni/VeniEmm.html

I’ve always known it as Emmanuel… Israel.

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