Scripture Verse

The shepherds said to one another, Let us go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the Baby, who was lying in the manger. Luke 2:15–16

Introduction

portrait
Frederick Oakeley
1802–1880

Words: John F. Wade, cir­ca 1743 (Ades­te fi­del­es). Vers­es 1–3 trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Fred­er­ick Oake­ley, 1841.

The vers­es be­gin­ning See how the shep­herds and Child, for us sin­ners were writ­ten in La­tin by Éti­enne-Jean-Fran­çois Bor­der­ies, who heard the hymn in Eng­land, and wrote them af­ter re­turn­ing to France in 1794. These two vers­es, and the one be­gin­ning Lo! star led chief­tains were all trans­late­d to Eng­lish by Will­iam T. Brooke in the Al­tar Hym­nal, 1884 (Col­qu­houn, p. 41).

If this hymn is sung on a day be­sides Christ­mas, the verse be­gin­ning Yea, Lord, we greet Thee can be omit­ted, or sung with sub­sti­tute words such as Born to be our Sav­ior.

Music: Ades­te Fi­de­les at­trib­ut­ed Va­ri­ous­ly to John Wade, John Read­ing, or Mar­co An­ton­io Si­mao (Por­to­gal­lo) (1762–1830) (🔊 pdf nwc).

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Wade or Brooke (head & shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),

Lyrics

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;

Refrain

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 Eter­nal,
Lo, He shuns not
The vir­gin’s womb;
Son of the Fa­ther,
Begotten, not cre­at­ed;

Refrain

Sing, choirs of an­gels,
Sing in ex­ul­ta­tion;
O sing, all ye ci­ti­zens
Of Hea­ven above!
Glory to God, all
Glory in the high­est;

Refrain

See how the shep­herds,
Summoned to His cra­dle,
Leaving their flocks,
Draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thi­ther
Bend our joy­ful foot­steps;

Refrain

Lo! star led chief­tains,
Magi, Christ ador­ing,
Offer Him in­cense,
Gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child
Bring our hearts’ ob­la­tions.

Refrain

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?

Refrain

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this hap­py morn­ing;
Jesus, to Thee be all glo­ry giv­en;
Word of the Fa­ther,
Now in flesh ap­pear­ing.

Refrain