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O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

- arr. Christopher Bord


PDF Sample

Use: Advent
Required Resources: SATB choir
Language: English

The O Antiphon texts have a long and rich history in Catholic liturgy. They are the Magnificat antiphons for Vespers on the last seven days of Advent. The wonderful Messianic imagery offers a spiritual meditation on the history of salvation on these privileged days before Christmas.

Using the very popular English translation by John Mason Nealle (1861), Christopher Bord has set the chant tune for SATB choir a cappella. The beauty of this arrangement lies in its simplicity. The first three verse are sung in unison, by women, men, and all, respectively. Verse 4 is set for SA voices; Verse five for 2-part mixed voices, with the men on a drone D ("O come"). Verse 6 adds a soprano descant above the unison melody. Verse 7 is a full SATB harmonization, with very comfortable vocal ranges. A Last Refrain is offered in SATB harmony.

Reminiscent of the von Trapps, this setting was originally performed by a New England family: soprano, alto, baritone, bass. It was arranged as a simple motet for a snowy Advent Sunday, with remarkable success!

Occasionally the Advent season gets less attention than it should in the race to rehearse music for Christmas. This CNP setting of the quintessential Advent hymn can be sung by any size group, from a simple quartet to a choral society. Perhaps this is the ideal repertoire for that Fourth Sunday of Advent, falling as it always does within the scope of the O Antiphons. Reward four of your best singers with this special quartet that they can master on their own and spend that rehearsal time with the full choir preparing for Midnight Mass! Note: the tenor part can easily be handled by a light baritone (highest note is D above middle C).


Order #: 4202
Price: $1.40


- Choral Music
- Advent
- SATB Choir
- a cappella

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