O Come, O Come, Immanuel

This soul-stirring and evocative hymn contemplate the people of Israel’s anticipation of their coming savior. Originating in the Middle ages as an antiphon, or anthem, it was translated and published in English in 1851 by John Mason Neale, an Anglican priest and scholar.

Usually sung during the Christmas season, this hymn moves from the shadows of the Old Testament into the light of the New Testament with the revelation of God in Christ. It talks about how Jesus will bring a final exodus from the oppressive rule of sin, death, and Satan. So, celebrate the birth of Christ with thoughtful unison and praise for the riches of his grace in redeeming us from destruction.

Lyrics

O come, O come, Immanuel,
And ransom captive Israel;
That mourns in lonely exile here,
Until the Son of God appear.

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, our Wisdom from on high,
Who ordered all things mightily;
To us the path of knowledge show,
And teach us in her ways to go.

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, the Branch of Jesse’s Tree,
Free them from Satan’s tyranny;
That trust your might power to save,
And give them victory over the grave.

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, O 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:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

O come, Desire of nations, bind,
In one the hearts of all mankind;
O bid our sad divisions cease,
And be yourself our King of Peace. 

Refrain:
Rejoice! Rejoice! Immanuel
shall come to you, O Israel.

Additional Verses

O come, Adonai, Lord of might,
Who to Thy tribes, on Sinai’s height,
In ancient times didst give the law
In cloud and majesty and awe.

O come, Thou Dayspring, from on high,
And cheer us by Thy drawing nigh;
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night,
And death’s dark shadows put to flight.

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.

O come, O come, true prophet of the Lord
And turn the key to heaven’s door
Be Thou our comforter and guide
And lead us to the Father’s side

O come, our great High Priest, and intercede
Thy sacrifice, our only plea
The judgment we no longer fear
Thy precious blood has brought us near

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