Music to reflect on Advent
O Come, O come Emmanuel
This is my favourite Advent carol. I know a lot of people don’t like it – probably because it’s been sung like a dirge – but if it’s sung well it can be beautiful. It is a carol that fills me with hope and expectation for Christmas – and surely that is what Advent is all about. This particular version is sung by only one person recording each voice part and then building the layers. The symbolism in this song is rich and is often used to count down the final seven days before Christmas – like a musical advent calendar. This particular version doesn’t have all seven verses but the verses included speak of hope and promise of the coming of ‘God with us’. At this time when we see many stories of war and violence on our TV we need the message of this carol more than ever…
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.