O Come All Ye Faithful
Numerous composers have been liked to this melody
written in the early 1700s
performed by the chamber "Chorus Anonymous"
with Audience Participation
The text to the Carol O Come All Ye Faithful was originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) and was intended to be a hymn, it is attributed to John Wade, an Englishman. The music to O Come All Ye Faithful was composed by fellow Englishman John Reading in the early 1700s. The tune was first published in a collection known as "Cantus Diversi" in 1751. In 1841 Rev. Frederick Oakley is reputed to have worked on the familiar translation of O Come All Ye Faithful which replaced the older Latin lyrics "Adeste Fideles".
Besides John Francis Wade, the tune has been purported to be written by several musicians, from John Reading and his son to Handel and even Gluck, including the Portuguese composers Marcos Portugal or the king John IV of Portugal himself. Thomas Arne, whom Wade knew, is another possible composer. There are several similar musical themes written around that time, though it can be hard to determine whether these were written in imitation of the hymn, the hymn was based on them, or they are totally unconnected.
However the earliest existing manuscript shows both words and tune. John Francis Wade included it in his own publication of Cantus Diversi (1751). It was published again in the 1760 edition of Evening Offices of the Church. It also appeared in Samuel Webbe's An Essay on the Church Plain Chant (1782).
1. 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.
2. God of God, Light of Light,
Lo, He abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, Begotten not created;
3. See how the shepherds, Summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither Bend our joyful footsteps;
4. Lo! star-led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring,
Offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child Bring our hearts’ oblations.
5. 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?
6. There shall we see Him, His Eternal Father's
Everlasting Brightness now veiled under flesh;
We find there, A Babe in infant clothing;
7. Sing, choirs of angels, Sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God In the highest;
8. Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, Born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, Now in flesh appearing.
- Christma Carol