O Come O Come Emmanuel – The 8th century hymn that still shapes our Advent worship

I find it interesting how an ancient hymn from the 8th century still shapes our Advent worship to such a great extent in the 21st century.  Stanzas from the hymn are sung every Sunday in Advent in most liturgical churches during the lighting of the Advent wreath.

Emily Gibson’s Advent reflection today at Barnstorming focuses on this hymn, and she has three different musical renditions of it posted.

I just checked my own iTunes music library – I have at least 20 different versions of the hymn from ancient plainsong to modern guitar-driven pop/rock versions in my own collection!  Wow.  It appears to be the second-most repeated song in my entire music collection of about 6800 songs! The winner is Silent Night for which I have at least 22 recordings.

[Several other Christmas songs come very close:  Angels We Have Heard on High and O Come All Ye Faithful (19 versions each),  and Joy to the World and O Holy Night (18 versions each).  I also have 14 versions of What Child is This and 13 versions of Hark the Herald Angels. … Yes, I LOVE Christmas music and have a lot of it!]

What’s your favorite rendition of O Come O Come Emmanuel?  Which of the verses of the hymn is most meaningful to you?

 

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