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Day 13 in Advent, O Come, All Ye Faithful

It’s Friday, Day 13 in Advent. We’ve just passed the halfway point in Advent with 12 days left til Christmas. Among the songs of Christmas, one of the most famous and most loved songs is “O Come All Ye Faithful”. Yet among all the Christmas music we sing this one might have the greatest mystery as to writer and composer.
The writer most often ascribed to have written this hymn was John Francis Wade, an English man who fled England during the mid-1700s, because of Catholic suppression.  Many Catholics living during these tumultuous days fled England to France.  Since many of the Catholic church records, hymns and church wares were uprooted and even lost, Wade took on the task of copying music to be preserved for the future. Wade was an accomplished calligrapher and so he copied and saved many of the historical songs the Church had sung for the Catholic churches - even over all of Europe.
Somewhere around 1750, he either copied, or composed, Adeste Fideles.  There are several manuscripts of the Latin hymn, Adeste Fideles with his signature on them. What complicates Wade's signature is that there have been discoveries of the text of this same poem in other ancient manuscripts going back to the 13th century.  In fact there are several historical figures that are considered as possible composers of the original words.  Also, in the late 18th century 3 more verses - which we do not sing - we're added to the original four.
We do know with some certainty (although also disputed) that the song Adeste Fideles -written in Latin - was translated into English by Frederick Oakley, an Englishman, in 1841 and appeared with the title “Ye Faithful, Approach Ye”.  After appearing in a Hymnal in the mid 19th century, it soon began to appear in denominational hymnals all over Europe and America.
Perhaps one of the most caroled songs by groups, as a child, I remember learning to sing the Latin verses as well as the traditional English verses.
The first verse in Latin:
Adeste fideles læti triumphantes,
Venite, venite in Bethlehem.
Natum videte
Regem angelorum:
Venite adoremus (3×)
Dominum.
The traditional hymn has these 4 verses:
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;
True 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.

There are three more verses that may or may not have been composed at the same time, but appeared later in other versions. As with the confusion of the original text, so also several musicians have been proposed as the composers of the melody we sing. For a song so well known by the church today, there is a lot unknown about its authors!
The song is a Christmas Day declaration and invitation...Come, Joyfully, Triumphantly, and Worship the true God born in Mary’s womb. The angels come to announce his birth and we come to declare it to a world that so desperately needs its news.
There are so many versions of “O Come All Ye Faithful” out there that it is impossible to say which is the best. Yet, for me, the song is best sung congregationally, loud and triumphantly. How about as a Flash Mob?
GET THE SHEET MUSIC HERE!!https://bit.ly/2kunotN ►Have you seen our new Christmas Flash Mob?? https://youtu.be/Xo_Fu6tkH-Y ►Subscribe to our Channel Here! h...

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