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Words: Anonymous-Latin hymn:discovered by John Francis Wade (1710-1786): translated into English by Rev. Frederick Oakeley (1802-1880)
Music: Samuel Webbe, Sr. (1740-1816)

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 heaven above;
Glory to God,
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.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning,
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Son 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.

The authorship of "0 Come, All Ye Faithful," originally a Latin Christmas song of praise entitled, "Adeste Fidelis", has been attributed to many different poets, but remains somewhat of a mystery. Some think it was an old carol connected with dancing around the manger, and that it might have been used by St. Francis of Assisi. Others claim it came from the 13th century and was the work of a Franciscan friar, St. Bonaventura, an associate of St. Francis. Other historians state that "Adeste Fidelis" was originally written by an unknown French poet between the years 1685 and 1690, during the reign of Louis XIV. However, it is now generally agreed that Englishman John Francis Wade either came across the stanzas or created them in connection with his music copying and research work in Douay, France, and it first appeared in print in his book, Cantus Diversi, published in 1751. The first published appearance of the tune to which "0 Come, All Ye Faithful" is now sung, was in a collection by another English music copyist, Samuel Webbe, Sr. Because Samuel Webbe played the organ in the chapel of the Portuguese embassy in London and used this superb tune on many occasions, the music to this carol became known as The Portuguese Hymn," leading some historians to believe that it had its origin in Portugal. So the two music copyists, Wade and Webbe, were instrumental in giving Christendom one of her finest Christmas hymns, Adeste Fidelis." Englishman Rev. Frederick Oakeley was so thrilled by the published Latin version of "Adeste Fidelis", that, in 1841, he translated it into his native English, entitling it, "Ye Faithful, Approach Ye." Eleven years after the translation, Oakeley was determined to improve upon the hymn. He scrupulously studied the original Latin version in an attempt to translate it into more effective and expressive English, with the opening lines of the first stanza reading, "0 come, all ye faithful, Joyful and triumphant" Although more than forty different translations were made of "Adeste Fideles", Oakeley's translation, "0 Come, All Ye Faithful," was the one most preferred. This carol has been translated into 120 languages and dialects.

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