The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #26683   Message #322411
Posted By: Haruo
18-Oct-00 - 11:22 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Latin for O Come O Come Emmanuel
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Latin for O Come O Come Emmanuel
Here is the version (only 3 stanzas) in The Cyber Hymnal. In a note to the Esperanto version in my online hymnal I wrote: Veni Emmanuel is based on the "O Antiphons", a set of seven short prayers used in Roman Catholicism as antiphons during the vespers services from the 17th to the 23rd of December, inclusive. Each antiphon, after the introductory "O", addresses Christ by some title from the Hebrew Scriptures, and prays that He may come to His Israel. The last antiphon, on the 23rd, corresponds to the first stanza of the hymn. [...] in the original the first letters of the Titles of Christ, read in reverse, spell ERO CRAS, i.e. "I'll be there tomorrow" in Latin—an acrostic feature that, sadly, neither the Esperanto version by Beveridge nor the English by Neale attempts to preserve. (The Latin titles are "Emmanuel", "Rex (Gentium)", "Oriens", "Clavis David", "Radix Jesse", "Adonai" and "Sapientia".) The O Antiphons arose in the 7th-9th centuries. The hymn is probably not that ancient, at least not with the present tune; however, there are some Catholics who assert that the hymn is almost contemporaneous with the antiphons.

Christmas hymns and carols in Esperanto
(listed by English titles)

PS I'm pretty sure "Radix [Jesse]" is the original and "Virgula" a later substitution; cf. the Latin text "Flos de Radice Jesse" which is more or less equivalent to "Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming" (Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen)