When possible, I’m going to add a voice over for this hymn, but at the moment it’s a purely instrumental version, which I call a Meditation. It has additional instrumentation to reinforce the melody line to make it easy to sing along.
This melody started as a plainsong chant in fifteenth-century France. In 1854, English priest Thomas Helmore adapted it and published the familiar version as part of his revival of plainchant in the UK. Instead of being in a more common major or minor key, VENI EMMANUEL uses a medieval scale we call the Dorian mode.
The text comes from an ancient Latin chant built around multiple different names for Christ used in the Old Testament. For added interest, it also featured a reverse acrostic structure, with the structure, spelling out ERO CRAS – "I will be with you tomorrow". Nice! But not readily achieved in an English version, which is alright, as that means we don’t need to sing all 7 verses.
As a bonus, the Lyric Video features a recent painting by Bill!
Listen to the backing track, or preview the Lyric Video on our YouTube Channel.
Available as audio only, or as a Lyric Video in two sizes, this setting in 3 verses is slightly modernised and a comfortable sing for all congregations.
Vouchers for free access to Lyric Videos are available to our supporters through our Patreon page.
Select a format-
SD Video: Standard Definition, suitable for older Data Projectors and screens
HD Video: High Definition, suitable for TVs, mobile devices, and HDMI data projectors
Interested in other keys or with different words? These options are available to our patrons. Contact us to discuss!