~* O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL *~
Latin Hymn, 18th Century
English translation by Frederick Oakeley, 1802-1880

15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.
Luke 2:15 & 20

The songs of the Christmas season comprise some of the finest music known to man, and this hymn is certainly one of our universal favorites. It is sung by churches around the world since it has been translated from its original Latin into more than 100 other languages. The vivid imagery calls us to visualize anew the infant Jesus in Bethlehem's stable. The second stanza is usually omitted in most hymnals, but reminds us that the Christ-child is very God Himself:

True God of true God, Light from Light begotten,
He shuns not, He shuns not the Virginís womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;
O come, let us adore Him....


The next stanza pictures for us the exalted song of the angelic choir heard by the lowly shepherds. Then the final verse offers praise and adoration to the Word, our Lord, Who was with the Father from the beginning of time and throughout eternity.

For many years this hymn was known as an anonymous Latin hymn. Recent research, however, has revealed manuscripts that indicate that it was written in 1744 by an English layman named John Wade and set to music by him in much the same style as used today. The hymn first appeared in his collection, Cantus Diversi, published in England in 1751. One hundred years later the carol was translated into its present English form by an Anglican minister, Frederick Oakeley, who desired to use it for his congregation. The tune name, "Adeste Fideles", is taken from the first words of the original Latin text, and translated literally means "be present or near, 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!

True God of true God, Light from Light begotten,
He shuns not, He shuns not the Virginís womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;
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;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, they draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Lo! star led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring,
Off'ring Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child bring our heartsí oblations.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

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?
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord!



*For Today*: Matthew 2:1 & 2; Luke 2:9-14; John 1:14

Ask God to help you and your family make this celebration of Christ's birth the most spiritual one you have yet known. Worship Him--Christ, the Lord!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions © Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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