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Advent: Things you should sing

November 27, 2011

It being the first Sunday of Advent, I would like to encourage anyone-who-is-out-there-to-be-encouraged to make singing a part of whatever devotions you are doing for Advent.  In past years, I have successfully got people in my family to sing: 

1. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – probably the most populare advent hymn in English, the words are based on the antiphons for the Magnificat for the last seven days leading up to Christmas eve (known as the “O Antiphons”).  You could also try the Latin version (with the same melody): Veni, veni, Emmanuel

Side note: An interesting thing which I have noticed is that the accents for the English “O Come” and “Rejoice” are exactly the reverse of the Latin “Véni” and “Gáude”.  Hmm…

2. Alma Redemptoris Mater – the Marian antiphon for Advent through the  feast of the Purification (Feb. 2).  Thus this counts as a Christmas one as well.  It seems like this one people pretty much memorized after a week or so, as it is a short and linear text: “Kind Mother of the Redeemer, thou who art the open door of heaven and star of the sea, help thy fallen people, striving to rise again; thou who gavest birth, while nature marveled, to thine own sacred Creator. Virgin before and afterwards, receiving that greeting from the lips of Gabriel, have mercy on sinners.” (Translation stolen from here which is a printout of the solemn tone.)

3. Conditor Alme Siderum – this is the vespers hymn for Advent and thus fitting for evening use; the tune is easy to catch as the verses are short.

And that is all.  Perhaps I shall report if we do anything new this year. 


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