"O Come Emmanuel" by Gordon Giles

 

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Title: O Come Emmanuel
Author: Gordon Giles
Start Date: 12/1/17
End Date: 1/11/18
# of Pages: 168
Edition: Paraclete Press paperback (2006)
ISBN: 9781557255150
Purchase: Amazon

Quick Take: disappointing

Why I Chose It: The full title is "O Come Emmanuel: A Musical Tour of Daily Readings for Advent and Christmas". I picked this up after attending an Advent evensong in New York in 2015, hoping to learn a little about the history of common Christmas songs.

Quotes: (1) "While Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany are very much part of our Christian heritage, having something of a Christmas tradition and being familiar with and appreciative of it are not the same thing." (2) "Advent is a dark time of year. The Christmas lights may well be up early, but before Christmas Day dawns they serve to emphasize the darkness in which they shine." (3) "Other settings of the Ave Maria include that of Anton Bruckner (1824-1896), a devout Austrian Catholic, whose unaccompanied choral setting includes the full text, but has an early climax on the name of Jesus, reminding us that however respectful of Mary we might want to be, Jesus Christ is the focus of our faith." (4) "'All glory be to God on high / And to the earth be peace: / Goodwill henceforth from heaven to men / Begin and never cease.'" 

Other Notes: This was disappointing. The concept is great, but I either would have chosen different songs, or investigated them in a different way.

 
BooksKarl Magnuson