O Come, all ye Faithful

Today’s Carol of Comfort & Joy has at least five different lyricists who’ve been given credit: John IV, King of Portugal, two composers, a house of Cistercian monks, and even Saint Bonaventure. Think you can guess what Carol it might be?

Here’s a hint: the title in Latin is “Adeste fideles”.

Do you know it? Listen to the Northridge Preparatory School choir sing it:

“O Come, all Ye Faithful” appeared in a book created by John Francis Wade – one of the two composers the hymn has been credited to – in the early 1750s. 100 years later, Catholic priest and convert Frederick Oakley translated “Adeste fideles” into English. Already a very popular carol, it only became even more popular with its translation!

This Christmas Carol originally had four verses, but somewhere along the way, it doubled in size! Three verses were written by a French Catholic priest named Jean-François-Étienne Borderies, but the last verse’s writer remains a mystery. All of them were written in Latin and later translated, and I don’t think you can really tell there are so many different writers.

Can YOU hear the difference? Listen to the carol again and find out!

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Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.