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Veni, veni Emmanuel is a synthesis of the great "O" antiphons that are used for Vespers during the octave before Christmas (December 17-23). These antiphons are of ancient origin, dating back to at least the 9th century. The hymn itself, though, is more recent, from a 15th-century processional of French Franciscan nuns (the setting for the funeral hymn Libera me). It first appeared in the 18th century in the Psalteriolum Cantionum Catholicarum (Cologne, 1710). It was translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale (1818-1866) in Mediaeval Hymns, published in 1851.

- Joseph Jennings