Meditation on “Veni Emmanuel”

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” are the opening words of John Mason Neale’s (1818-1866) translation of the Medieval text, “Veni Emmanuel,” with music arranged by Thomas Helmore (1811-1890), for The Hymnal Noted (London, 1856). The text of this most famous of Advent hymns is taken from various “‘O’ Antiphons,” verses sung or recited before and after the Magnificat during the evening Vespers service in the last week of Advent. Each antiphon is a name of Christ, and together they echo the foretelling of the long-expected Messiah by the prophet Isaiah.

The origin of the music is uncertain. Some claim it to be from a 15th-century French processionale (hymnal, liturgical manual) for Franciscan nuns; others believe it to be of earlier, eighth-century Gregorian plainsong origins.

This arrangement features both traditional and contemporary harmonies and a meditative original introduction, which is echoed in countermelodies in later presentations of the melody.

Piano/organ score, bass clef and Bb treble clef solo parts — $5.99