The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

In Triumph, Joy, and Holy Fear

For Christmas

Words: Adeste Fideles, John Francis Wade (c. 1711/2-1786), circa 1743/4

Translator:  J. C. Earle, 1881
Other Translations: Adeste, Fideles Translations

Music: "Adeste fideles"
MIDI / Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Source: Orby Shipley, ed., Annus Sanctus: Hymns of the Church for the Ecclesiastical Year. Vol. 1. (London and New York: Burns and Oates, 1884), #28, pp. 28-29.

See: Notes on Adeste Fideles

In triumph, joy and holy fear,
Draw near, ye faithful souls, draw near;
The infant King of heaven is here:
    None treads aright but Bethlehem-ward;
    Come hither and adore the Lord.

A Maiden pure — oh, wondrous sight —
Has borne the very Light of Light:
God is begotten out of night:
    All Grace is in this Infant stored;
    Come hither, come, adore the Lord.

By angels called that bliss to taste,
The shepherds leave their flocks and haste
To see him in a manger placed:
    Then need we further be implored
    To hasten and adore the Lord?

The Wise-men too — a star their guide —
By Herod sent, from Salem ride,
With incense, gold and myrrh supplied:
    And with their gifts our hearts be poured
    At those dear feet of Christ the Lord.

The glory of the eternal Sire
Veiled under flesh we shall admire,
Nor quail before his awful fire:
    That Infant swathed shall be adored:
    Come hither, come, 'tis Christ the Lord.

Such love as this — who would not yearn
To love the lover in return?
Behold, with reverent zeal we burn
    To see the Babe proud kings ignored,
    And kiss the feet of Christ our Lord.

Ye choirs of blissful angels, sing;
Ye vaults of heaven, responsive ring,
'All glory to our God and king;'
    Let floods of harmony be poured
    From men below to Christ the Lord.

To thee be glory who, to-day
In Bethlehem born, dost live alway:
Jesus, let none their steps delay
    To visit thee, the eternal Word
    Made flesh, and worship Christ the Lord.

Note from the source:

“Sequence, from the Cistercian Gradual, of the Fifteenth-Sixteenth Century. In triumph, joy and holy fear. Paraphrase of a longer version than is generally used. Verses 3, 4, 5, and 6 are here for the first time rendered into English.”

Subsequently it has been determined that Adeste, Fideles was not from the Cistercian Gradual of the 15th-16th Century, but was written by John Francis Wade, an Englishman living in the Douay community in France in the 18th Century.

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