The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Come Rejoicing, Faithful Men

For Christmas, Epiphany, Candlemas

Words: Lætabundus, A Sequence from the Salisbury Gradual, with notes
Erroneously attributed to S. Bernard of Clairvaux (died 1153)
Translation: Cento

Music: First tune was from the Sarum Graduale, Mode V; the second was by Nicholas C. Gatty (1874-1946).

Source: The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), Hymn #22a & b, pp. 34-39.


Exsultet fidelis chorus.

Come rejoicing,
Faithful men, with rapture singing

     Regem regum
Intactae profudit torus:
          Res miranda!

Monarch’s Monarch,
From a holy maiden springing,
Mighty wonder!

     Angelus Consilii
Natus est de Virgine,
          Sol de Stella.

Angel of the Counsel here,
Sun from star, He doth appear,
Born of maiden:

     Sol occasum nesciens,
Stella semper rutilans,
          Semper clara.

He a sun Who knows no night,
She a star whose paler light
Fadeth never.

     Sicut sidus radium,
Profert Virgo Filium
          Pari forma.

As a star its kindred ray,
Mary doth her Child display,
Like in nature;

     Neque sidus radio,
Neque Virgo Filium
          Fit corrupta.

Still undimmed the star shines on,
And the maiden bears a Son,
Pure as ever.

     Cedrus alta Libani
Conformatur hyssopo
          Valle nostra.

Lebanon His cedar stall
To the hyssop on the wall
Lowly bendeth;

     Verbum ens Altissimi
Corporari passum est,
          Carne sumpta.

From the highest, Him we name
Word of God, to human frame
Now descendeth.

     Esaias cecinit,
Synagoga meminit;
Numquam tamen desinit
     Esse caeca.

Yet the synagogue denied
What Esaias had descried:
Blindness fell upon the guide,
Proud, unheeding.

     Si non suis vatibus,
Credat vel gentilibus,
Sibyllinis versibus
          Haec praedicta:

If her prophets speak in vain,
Let her heed a Gentile strain,
And, from mystic Sybil, gain
Light and leading.

     Infelix, propera,
Crede vel vetera:
Cur damnaberis, gens misera?

No longer than delay,
Hear what the Scriptures say,
Why be cast away
A race forlorn?

     Quem docet littera
Natum considera:
Ipsum genuit puerpera.


Turn and this Child behold,
That very Son, of old
In God’s writ foretold,
A maid hath borne. Amen.

Sheet Music from The English Hymnal (London: Oxford University Press, 1906), Hymn #22a & b, pp. 34-39.

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Laetebundus-English_Hymnal-1902-37.jpg (75596 bytes) Laetebundus-English_Hymnal-1902-38.jpg (78876 bytes) Laetebundus-English_Hymnal-1902-39.jpg (75315 bytes)

Editor's Note:

The Latin was not included in The English Hymnal. I have added it so that the reader can see the Latin source for each verse.

Compare: Faithful People, Sweeten All Your Song With Gladness (Terry, A Medieval Carol Book), with notes and additional musical settings.

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