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What are the lyrics to ‘O Come all ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles)’?

Here are the lyrics in both English and Latin to the favourite Christmas carol 'O Come all ye Faithful', also known as 'Adeste Fideles'

'O Come all ye Faithful (Adeste Fideles) lyrics

‘O Come all ye Faithful’ is one Christmas carol without which a Christmas service wouldn’t seem complete. What is it that makes it such a perennial favourite? Is it that chorus that only the upper voices sing first, with everyone else then joining in with gusto?

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Is it that one final verse that is specially reserved for Christmas morning alone? Or is it those wonderful descants that raise ‘Sing Choirs of Angels’ to the very rafters? Robert Hollingworth, founder of I Fagiolini, has his reasons: ‘I freely admit that my love of it is due to David Willcocks’s arrangement, with the excellent descant in Verse 6 and the way the Verse 7 accompaniment takes you off piste!’

Who wrote and composed ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’?

It is believed that the Christmas carol O Come All Ye Faithfulwas  written and composed by JF Wade, although many think he could have copied it from an earlier manuscript. It was first printed in Latin in 1751 as ‘Adeste Fideles, and was translated into English nearly a century later by Frederick Oakeley in 1841. The song celebrates the birth of Jesus.

What are the lyrics to the Christmas carol ‘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, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

God of God, light of light,
Lo, he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, begotten, not created:
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
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, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given!
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing!
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Lo! The flock abandoned, the summoned shepherds
Hurry lowly to the cradle:
May we too make haste with exultant gait!
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

A star leading, the Magi, worshipping Christ,
give gifts: gold, frankincense, myrrh.
May we proffer our hearts to the infant Christ!
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

We shall see the eternal splendour
Of the eternal father, veiled in flesh,
The infant God wrapped in cloths.
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

May we warm him, needy and lying on hay,
With our pious embraces:
Who does not love him who loves us thus?
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

Sing now choir of angels hymns!
Sing now halls of the heavenly!
Glory to God in the highest!
O come, let us adore Him, (3×)
Christ the Lord.

What are the lyrics to ‘Adeste Fidelesin Latin?

Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum:
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine
Gestant puellæ viscera
Deum verum, genitum non factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Cantet nunc io, chorus angelorum;
Cantet nunc aula cælestium,
Gloria, gloria in excelsis Deo,
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Ergo qui natus die hodierna.
Jesu, tibi sit gloria,
Patris æterni Verbum caro factum.
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

En grege relicto, humiles ad cunas,
Vocati pastores adproperant:
Et nos ovanti gradu festinemus,
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Stella duce, Magi Christum adorantes,
Aurum, tus et myrrham dant munera.
Iesu infanti corda præbeamus
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Æterni parentis splendorem æternum
Velatum sub carne videbimus
Deum infantem pannis involutum
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Pro nobis egenum et fœno cubantem,
Piis foveamus amplexibus.
Sic nos amantem quis non redamaret?
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Cantet nunc hymnos chorus angelorum
Cantet nunc aula cælestium,
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.

Want to play ‘O Come All Ye Faithful’ over the festive period? Buy the sheet music below…

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Top image credit: Getty Images