Christmas Eve: O come, all ye faithful

Our little festival of poetry will end with a Christmas Day installment. For the penultimate entry, I give you the hymn that begins Christmas in the parish I serve. As this post appears at 5 p.m. Eastern time, we are singing this hymn with gusto in our Procession before the first vigil Eucharist of Christmas. The church is full of people, and the air is redolent of incense. Since I don’t have a live feed, you’ll have to make do with this excellent video from King’s College.

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;
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
O come, let us adore him,
Christ the Lord.

God from God, Light from Light eternal,
lo! he abhors not the Virgin’s womb;
only-begotten Son of the Father; Refrain

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation,
sing, all ye citizens of heaven above;
glory to God, 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

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

For Christmas:
Yea, Lord, we greet thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing; Refrain

For Epiphany:
Lo! star-led chieftains, magi, Christ adoring,
offer him frankincense and gold and myrrh;
we to the Christ-child bring our hearts oblations: Refrain

Words: John Francis Wade (1711-1786), circa 1743; stanzas 1-3 & 6 trans. Frederick Oakeley (1802-1880), 1841; stanzas 4 & 6 trans. William Thomas Brooke (1848-1917).

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1 Response

  1. Bob Chapman says:

    I see you used the video from the year they didn’t use Wilcocks. Not a criticism. Just an oberservation.