Not yet, anyway ...
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
And ransom captive Israel,
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You beat me! =)
Excellent choice for today.
You are, of course, correct. However, the society at large views Christmas Day as the culmination, rather than the beginning of the 'Christmas Season'. Hence, this newspaper is more focused on the actual hymns of the season.
In keepig with Advent, however, at yesterday's Advent Lessons and Carols, the choir director selected one verse from our Traditional Christmas Novena, and sandwiched it in between the Holy, Holy Holy (Qou-ddous, Qou-ddous, Qou-ddous). This is from the Arsal Allah that we sing each night during the Novena.
Isaiah called Him wonderful and then foretold
His Kingdom on His shoulders He will always hold.
The thund'rous voice of God's own word is heard above
In Mary's womb the lion's whelp is hushed by love.
Ha-lel, Ha-lel, Ha-le-lou-noh
The other verses are equally beautiful. This is one of my most favorite.
This shining star the virgin lamp brings from her womb
When He arose preserved the seal upon His tomb.
She labored not in bearing Him but felt delight
Though born upon the midnight hour, He made it bright.
Ha-lel, Ha-lel, Ha-le-lou-noh
Mind you, we were a group of 5 women and 3 men, including the priest and organist. We are not trained as a choir. This combination of two chanted hymns was compiled by the priest and organist and we had only 1 rehearsal to learn it. But, the hymnody is so unique from western songs that several members of the other choirs came over later to comment on the music and how it had touched their souls. One woman went so far as to suggest that we make a recording of it and sell the CDs. ROFL!!! Just wait til Abouna hears that!
Our bishop will be joining us on December 20 to hear us sing. He is adamant that this Novena be held in ALL of his parishes. Our parish is quite small and getting parishioners to attend the Novena is as easy as moving a mountain. But I expect the Church will be packed on that day of the Novena. Fortunately, there is no pulling the wool over this bishop's eyes. He is very keen and aware of everything happening in the parishes of the eparchy. God bless him!
Let all mortal flesh keep silent
And with fear and trembling stand
Ponder nothing earthly minded
For with blessing in His hand,
Christ our Lord to earth descendeth
Our pure homage to demand.