25 December 2010

o come, o come, emmanuel.


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 dayspring, 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 wisdom from on high,
and order all things, far and nigh;
to us the path of knowledge show,
and cause us in her ways to go.

rejoice! rejoice! emmanuel
shall come to thee, o israel.

o come, desire of nations, bind
all peoples in one heart and mind;
bid envy, strife and quarrels cease:
fill the whole world with heaven’s peace.

rejoice! rejoice! emmanuel
shall come to thee, o israel.
 
my favorite hymn of the holy day. i love how it combines images of christ as dawn, christ as wisdom (gr. "sophia"), christ as messiah and christ as peace.

as for the luminarias, we didn't get to see them this year. next year. a town close by lines their main street with the sand-filled paper bags, which each contain a candle. luminarias (aka farolitos, or "little fires") symbolically guide mary and joseph to bethlehem, and/or help us meditate on the coming of the christ child—the coming of emmanuel. god with us.


image via cjpalmer