Advent has arrived, and I’ve hung some greens on my blog for the season. Sundays are the usual day for an installment in my series, Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth. As part of my Johannine Advent Project, I’ll be turning my focus during the season to Christmas carols, which I’ve pre-selected for Advent. It all brings to mind memories of caroling on cold winter evenings with friends, hot chocolate waiting at the end of the evening. This week’s carol is O Come, O Come, Emmanuel, one with uncertain origins dating back to between the 8th and 12th centuries, and was translated from Latin in the mid-19th century by John Mason Neale (1818-1866), who also wrote “Good King Wenceslas.” The hymn is based on the Antiphons sung in the Roman Catholic church from December 17-23. In Latin, the letters which begin the original titles formed the acrostic SARCORE, which in reverse spells “ERO CRAS,” meaning “I will be there tomorrow” in Latin. As such, it is seen as the answer spoken the day before Christmas by Emmanuel himself.
Might as well make it official — my first book, That You Might Believe: Praying Advent with the Gospel of John will be out this week. I’ve a hurdle or two left, such as finishing the cover design and getting fonts to display nicely, but those should be done soon and we’ll be off to the races. I will publish at Lulu.com and will also offer it as a PDF download once I work out the functional details of doing the download after the payment processing with PayPal. I will work on getting a small batch into my own hands if anyone wishes to buy direct… pricing TBA once the Lulu details are sorted out.