O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is a translation of the Latin hymn Veni, Veni Emmanuel. The Latin hymn is a metrical version of the O Antiphon plainsong chants. These plainsong chants are attached to the days leading up to Christmas, beginning on December 17th and they date to around the 8th century, at the latest.

The most well known version of this hymn is from the publication of Hymns Ancient and New in 1861, pairing the plainsong tune now called Veni Emmanuel with the English translation by John Mason Neale.

1 O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

2 O come, O Wisdom from on high,
who ordered all things mightily;
to us the path of knowledge show
and teach us in its ways to go. Refrain

3 O come, O come, great Lord of might,
who to your tribes on Sinai’s height
in ancient times did give the law
in cloud and majesty and awe. Refrain

4 O come, O Branch of Jesse’s stem,
unto your own and rescue them!
From depths of hell your people save,
and give them victory o’er the grave. Refrain

5 O come, O Key of David, come
and open wide our heavenly home.
Make safe for us the heavenward road
and bar the way to death’s abode. Refrain

6 O come, O Bright and Morning Star,
and bring us comfort from afar!
Dispel the shadows of the night
and turn our darkness into light. Refrain

7 O come, O King of nations, bind
in one the hearts of all mankind.
Bid all our sad divisions cease
and be yourself our King of Peace. Refrain