hristmas is almost here. And it is my favorite time of year. I confess to listening to Christmas music all year long.
And now that Christmas is just about three weeks away, it’s time to open up the shutters and let the music ring out to the rest of the world. It’s Christmastime! And Christianity has one glaring difference from all other religionsour God came to dwell among us. And he came to do that so that he could die for us because without the death of Jesus, we could not have a relationship with God. And this is what Christmas is all about.
O come! O come, Emmanuel... God, with us.
O Come, O Come, Emmanuel - by John Mason Neale
London-born John Mason Neale (18181866) was a scholar, hymn writer and co-founder of the Society of Saint Margaret, an order within the Anglican Church dedicated to nursing the sick.
Throughout his dedicated Christian life, John was both revered and persecuted for his desire to bring a unity of ideas between the Catholic Church and the Church of England. He was best known for his hymn writing, and his translations of existing hymns from Latin, Greek, Syrian and Russian, into English.
Neale’s original hymns include Good King Wenceslas and Good Christian Men Rejoice. Among his translated hymns is the beautiful O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, which he adapted from a Latin text. The haunting melody of this song still hints of its Gregorian chant origin.