The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ye Faithful, Approach Ye

For Christmas

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

Translator: Frederick Oakeley, 1841
Oakeley's 1852 Translation: O Come, All Ye Faithful
Other Translations: Adeste, Fideles Translations

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

Source: Hymns for the Public Worship of the Church (London: Joseph Masters, 1849), Hymn 8, Page 11.

See: Notes on Adeste Fideles

Ye faithful, approach ye, 
Joyfully triumphing; 
O come ye, O come ye, to Bethlehem; 
Come And Behold Him 
Born The King Of Angels:
    O come, let us adore Him, 
    O come, let us adore Him, 
    O Come, Let Us Adore Him, 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, &c.

Sing, choirs of Angels,
Sing in exultation, 
Sing, all ye citizens of Heav'n above; 
Glory To God 
In The Highest: 
    O come, let us adore Him, &c. 

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee,
Born this happy morning; 
Jesu, to Thee be glory giv'n:
Word Of The Father 
Late In Flesh Appearing:
    O come, let us adore Him, &c.


Rev. Oakeley's earliest translation was created in 1841 for the use of his congregation at Margaret Chapel. It was not published by the author, and because of the many changes imposed on the original text by subsequent hymnal editors -- often without documenting their changes -- it has been difficult to track down the original text. I'm fairly confident that this is what we have on this page, based on a great deal of reading and the labor of numerous scholars over the last 100 years. In particular, look for changes in the first two lines of the first verse and in the last line of the fourth verse.

Other instances of the original text:

For additional information, see the series of four articles written by Rev. Hugh T. Henry in the American Catholic Quarterly Review, Volumes 39 and 40 (1914-1915).

Rev. Oakeley produced a second translation in 1852, which is the basis of the most popular versions of this hymn, O Come, All Ye Faithful. As was the case with the first translation, this version has been subjected to numerous, undocumented changes to the text.

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