The Hymns and Carols of Christmas

Ye Faithful, Approach Ye

For Christmas Day

Words and Music: John Francis Wade (c. 1711-1786), circa 1743 / 4
(and possibly as early as 1740)
/ Noteworthy Composer / PDF / XML

Translation by Frederick Oakeley (Verses 1, 2, 7, 8), 1841
William Thomas Brooke (Verses 3-6)
Other Translations: Adeste, Fideles Translations

Tune harmonized by Arthur Henry Brown

Source: Arthur Henry Brown, ed., The Altar Hymnal (London: Griffith, Farrar, Okeden & Welsh, 1885), p. 23.

See: Notes on Adeste Fideles

1. 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.

2. God of God,
Light of Light,
Lo! He abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
Very God, Begotten not created. Chorus

3. See how the shepherds,
Summoned to His Cradle,
Sheep and sheepfold leaving, draw nigh with lowly fear;
We too will thither
Bend our joyful footsteps: Chorus

4. Lo! star-led chieftains,
Magi, Christ adoring,
Mystic gifts offer Him, frankincense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ child,
Bring our hearts' oblations: Chorus

5. There shall we see Him,
His Eternal Father's
Everlasting Brightness now veiled under flesh;
God shall we find there,
A Babe in infant clothing; Chorus

6. Child, for us sinners
Poor and in the manger,
Fain would we embrace Thee, in trembling awe and love;
Who would not love Thee,
Loving us so dearly? Chorus

7. Sing, choirs of angels,
Sing in exultation;
Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God,
In the highest; Chorus

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


In this hymnal, the words to Adeste Fideles were erroneously “Attributed to S. Bonaventure, the Seraphic Doctor, 1221-1274).” The tune was erroneously attributed to John Reading, 1690-1766; “first sung in Lincoln Cathedral.”

For Oakeley's original four verses, see: Ye Faithful, Approach Ye (1841).

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