O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL written in 1743
John Francis Wade (1711-1786) made his living copying manuscripts by hand, and he became famous for his artistic calligraphy. Because he sometimes copied music as well, scholars have been unsure whether or not John Francis actually wrote this song… or simply wrote it down after someone else authored it.
The song was originally written in Latin as Adeste Fidelis, but that was not problem for Wade. He was Roman Catholic, and all services in the church at that time were conducted in Latin. Apparently, in 1750, John Francis slipped this hymn into a manuscript he was copying for the English Roman Catholic College in Lisbon, Portugal. Over 30 years later, in 1785, it was sent to the Portuguese Chapel in London, and the tune became known as the “Portuguese Hymn”. The Duke of Leeds heard it sung there and included it in the repertoire of his own singing group. It soon became known around the world.
Read this Christmas hymn, and – today – ensure you are one of the faithful who is called!
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!
True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal; lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created; (Chorus)
Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation; O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest; (Chorus)
See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle, leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
we, too, will thither bend our joyful footsteps; (Chorus)
Lo! Star-led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring, offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
we to the Christ Child bring our hearts’ oblations. (Chorus)
Child, for us sinners poor and in the manger, we would embrace Thee, with love and awe;
who would not love Thee, loving us so dearly? (Chorus)
Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning; Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing. (Chorus)