Each stanza of O Come, O Come, Emmanuel highlights an Old Testament name for the coming Messiah. The hymn’s rhyming verse dates to the mid 1800’s, but it draws from a much older tradition.
For several centuries, the Church at Vespers has chanted a set of responsive verses, or antiphons, on the days leading up to Christmas. These antiphons, traditionally sung before and after the Magnificat, focus attention on Christ’s fulfillment of several Old Testament prophecies.
In this service, placed within the framework of Vespers, the children and the congregation will learn the Scriptural basis of each antiphon; pray it responsively; and see the prayer fulfilled in Emmanuel—God with us. It is assumed that a pastor will conduct the service.