Christ in the Carols – O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

by | Dec 8, 2010 | Fiction Book Reviews | 8 comments

Over the next few weeks, I thought it would be nice to focus on a few popular hymns sung during the Christmas season. Songs we refer to as Christmas Carols. One of my all-time favorite ‘Advent’ Carols is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

If you don’t know what Advent means – it’s the term used for the ‘Coming of Christ and is usually celebrated for 5 weeks – from the Sunday after Thanksgiving to the last Sunday in December. O Come, O Come Emmanuel is a perfect hymn for Advent because it is exactly that – a hymn calling from the prophecies of the Old Testament for the coming of the Messiah.

Here are some of the verses:

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 thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save
And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.
Wow! Did you get the power of those words. What a song of celebration and crying out for God’s salvation.

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.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

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.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

“Free Thine own from Satann’s tyranny

From depths of Hell Thy people save

And give them victory or the grave”

When the Son of God appears – NOTHING will defeat him. And as people who live on this side of the cross, we know that not even death could defeat Christ. Because He overcame the power of sin and death, we can live forever in Him. The gloomy clouds of night have been dispersed…and death’s dark shadows have been put to flight.


The melody for this hymn is said to have come from a 12 century Latin song. It was translated into English in the mid-1800s. We can rejoice because the Messiah – the Son of God HAS come. We are no longer left captives stumbling in the dark. We can rejoice, because the Light of the World has shone into the darkness and awakened our heart to His marvelous love.



  1. Renee Ann

    Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! This is one of my favorites–along with Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming. Beautiful words!

    • pepperbasham

      Renee Ann,
      LOVE Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming. I think because it’s kind of unique. You don’t hear it as much in common hymn sings. But the words are fabulous.

  2. Sherrinda

    That was beautiful, Pepper! Thank you for that!

  3. elainemcooper

    One of my FAVORITE Christmas songs. And we’re singing it this Sunday at church. Praise the Lord!

  4. christianromancewriters

    This is one of my favorites too, Pepper! Did you know it’s a medieval song and dates back from the 1200’s? I used it in my novel that comes out next December. (Uh-oh! Did I say that? That’s just a rumor, so shh! Don’t tell!) My hero and heroine sing that song in church and my heroine gets to ruminate on it.

    • pepperbasham

      I love this song – and I think it was called Veni Emmanuel, right?
      Beautiful. Ethereal.

      Er…did you say DECEMBER????!!!!!???? What a cool Christmas gift!
      Congrats. So HAPPY for you!

  5. Melanie Dickerson

    Oh, phooey. That last comment was me, Pepper. I didn’t realize I was logged in under a name I never use and acquired accidentally! Anyway, yeah, I used this song in my Beauty and the Beast story that comes out next Dec!!!


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