Lyrics: Veni, Veni

Red Eminence web

The oldest known Christmas carol is “Veni, Veni” which started out as a sung prayer in early medieval monasteries. Can it be any wonder it is also the most popular song to appear among my ten biographies?  You’ll first find it in “Catherine de Valois: French Princess, Tudor Matriarch” (recorded with an alternate tune by Richard Mann for the audio book). Next, look for it in “Empress Matilda of England.” Finally, enjoy it in “His Red Eminence, Armand-Jean du Plessis de Richelieu.”  Here me perform the first two verses on soundcloud.

One of the most fascinating things about this song is that while it is very old in its original medieval Latin, it was not until the Victorian era that it was translated into English.  Here is both the medieval Latin and the English.

 

Veni, Veni/O Come, O Come Emmanuel

 

Medieval Latin

Veni, veni Emmanuel

Captivum solve Israel,

Qui gemit in exsilio,

Privatus Dei Filio.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

Veni, O Sapientia,

Quae hic disponis omnia,

Veni, viam prudentiae

Ut doceas et gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

Veni, veni, Adonai,

Qui populo in Sinai

Legem dedisti vertice

In maiestate gloriae.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

Veni, veni, Rex Gentium,

veni, Redemptor omnium,

ut salvas tuos famulos

peccati sibi conscios.

Gaude! Gaude! Emmanuel, nascetur pro te Israel!

 

English:

O Come, O come, Emmanuel,

and ransom captive Israel,

that morns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

 

O come, Thou Wisdom, from on high,

and order all things far and nigh;

to us the path of knowledge show,

and teach us in her ways to go.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

O come, o come, Thou Lord of might,

who to thy tribes on Sinai’s height

in ancient times did give the law,

in cloud, and majesty, and awe.

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

 

O come, Desire of the nations, bind

in one the hearts of all mankind;

bid every strife and quarrel cease

and fill the world with heaven’s peace

Rejoice! Rejoice! O Israel,

to thee shall come Emmanuel!

http://www.preces-latinae.org/thesaurus/Hymni/VeniEmm.html

 

 

 

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