Advent Calendar | Dec. 21

4 Days Until Christmas

holly

SCRIPTURE

bible

“When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go now to Bethlehem and see this thing that has taken place, which God has made known to us.’

So they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the child lying in the manger. When they saw this, they made known what had been told them about this child; and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.” (Luke 2:15-20)
holly

O COME, ALL YE FAITHFUL

LYRICS

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.

True God of true God, Light from Light Eternal,
Lo, He shuns not the Virgin’s womb;
Son of the Father, begotten, not created;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation;
O sing, all ye citizens of heaven above!
Glory to God, all glory in the highest;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

 

 
Pilgrims enter Bethlehem at Christmastime, 1890.

Pilgrims enter Bethlehem at Christmastime, 1890.

Lo! star-led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring,
Offer Him incense, gold, and myrrh;
We to the Christ Child bring our hearts’ oblations.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

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?
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
O come, let us adore Him,
Christ the Lord.

holly

ABOUT THE CAROL

1. The music and Latin lyrics of the first four verses of “O Come, All Ye Faithful” (or “Adestes Fideles”) were composed by John Francis Wade in 1743, although “O Come, All Ye Faithful” has been attributed to other sources, including the Italian Saint Bonaventura, English organist John Redding and others of German and Portuguese nationalities.

2. The first words of the original Latin text translated literally mean “be present or near, ye faithful.”

3. Frederick Oakeley translated stanzas one, two, three and six into English in the 19th century.

4. The invitation to “come, all ye faithful … to Bethlehem” places the singer both among the shepherds who rushed to see the Christ child, and in the long procession of the “faithful” who have journeyed to Bethlehem in their hearts for more than 2,000 years.

5. There is some speculation that the hymn is a Jacobite birth ode to Bonnie Prince Charlie, who led a failed insurrection to restore his family to the British throne. Jacobitism was a political movement in Britain and Ireland to return the crown to Roman Catholic control. Some claim the secret political code was decipherable by the “faithful” —supposedly the Jacobites, with Bethlehem a common Jacobite cipher for England and Regem Angelorum a pun on Angelorum (Angels) and Anglorum (English). From the 1740s to 1770s, the earliest forms of the carol commonly appeared in English Roman Catholic liturgical books close to prayers for the exiled pretender prince. In the books by Wade, it was often decorated with Jacobite floral imagery, as were other liturgical texts with coded Jacobite meanings.

Sources:

holly

praying-hands-columnPRAYER

O God, we ponder in our hearts what it means to come to you and to be faithful. Amen.
holly

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