nativity-figurines.jpg This will be the last Christmas carol for the season, and it seems almost odd that I’ve not already added today’s selection to the series, Then Sings My Soul: The Hymns of My Youth. “O Come, All Ye Faithful” is to me the carol that most proclaims Christmas, the most essential of carols for the season.

The carol comes from the Latin Adeste Fideles, a 1743 hymn by John Francis Wade for text which may date back to the 13th century. Wade was a British exile who moved to a Roman Catholic community in France, where he eked out an income by copying and selling music and giving music lessons to children. The English version, “O Come, All Ye Faithful,” was was translated more than a century later by Frederick Oakeley, a British clergyman who felt that his congregation would sing well if only they had good literary texts to sing. Perhaps this carol expresses some truth in his conviction, as it is generally a difficult one for a congregation not to sing with a little extra “oomph.” The original Latin lyrics follow at the end of the familiar English ones, for those who feel compelled to follow along in the original language.

O Come, All Ye Faithful
O come, all ye faithful,
Joyful and triumphant,
O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem
Come and behold Him, born the King of Angels.

O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ, the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation;
Sing all ye citizens of heav’n above:
Glory to God in the Highest.


Yea, Lord, we greet Thee.
Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory giv’n
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.


Adeste fideles,
Laeti trimphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte, Regem angelorum.
Venite adoremus;
Venite adoremus;
Venite adoremus, Dominum.

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