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Missa Emmanuel

posted Nov 20, 2015, 12:31 PM by Steven Vaughan   [ updated Nov 20, 2015, 12:32 PM ]
Waiting is a period of learning. The longer we wait, the more we hear about him for whom we are waiting. (Henri Nouwen, Dutch Catholic priest and author)
While we wait during Advent, we learn Missa Emmanuel. Designed for “instant” participation, this folk-chant setting by Richard Proulx is an adaptation of the popular chant
VENI, VENI, EMMANUEL. 

Richard Proulx was an American composer and editor of church music, who had a long association with Chicago’s Holy Name Cathedral. When he created Missa Emmanuel in 2002, he noted that its simplicity and familiarity became useful “in order to provide maximum opportunities for the congregation to clearly hear its own voice.”

The chant, 
VENI, VENI, EMMANUEL, originated as a processional in a 15th century community of French Franciscan nuns living in Lisbon, Portugal. In the 19th century, Anglican priest John Mason Neale translated a collection of seven Roman Catholic Antiphons from the 9th century known as “The Great O's” for their opening invocation. (One antiphon per day is chanted for the last seven days of Advent, and each one, beginning with the interjection “O”, greets the Savior as one of the different biblical prophecies He fulfills.) He set his English translation to this chant, which has become Advent’s most popular hymn, O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.