Hymns: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

You, LORD, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.” – Psalm 18:28

It’s the second Sunday of Advent. I love Tierces de Picardie. Combine the two and you have the great Advent hymn O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.

It’s a hymn that goes through lots. Prayer. Longing. Hope. And this sums up Advent for me. A time of preparation and hope.

One of my favourite verses is the following:

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.

A theme that comes up in many hymns (and one that I particularly love) is this theme of light and darkness. This verse reminds us of God’s comfort and how, even in the darkest of places, He can bring light. In our own lives, or in the world in general. That gives me so much hope. Hope for myself – that God is there in my darkest moments, bringing light, comfort and hope. And hope for others – that when all seems lost, God is still at work, showing people the way.

Emmanuel means “God with us”. It’s important to remember that God is always with us. God is always at work in us and for us. So let’s rejoice! (Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel…)

All of this to a beautiful tune in a minor key. Dark and foreboding. But best played with a Tierce de Picardie – a stunning musical reminder of the hope we’ve just sung of.


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