Learn the Lyrics to “Adeste Fideles” in Latin and English

Woman playing piano Christmas
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The Christmas carol "Adeste Fideles"—better known to most people as "O Come All Ye Faithful"—is one of the most beautifully written. Its precise origins are a mystery, but scholars say the song is at least 250 years old. Some have attributed the song to King John IV of Portugal (1604-1656), called "the musician-king," who composed a number of musical works during his reign and also compiled one of the world's largest musical libraries.

Other historians say the English hymnist John Francis Wade (1711-1786) is the true author of this carol. The earliest versions of "Adeste Fideles" are all in Latin. The English-language version that most people today know was translated in 1841 by Frederick Oakeley, a British Catholic priest. Both versions have eight verses, though not all are found in the earliest published versions. Some verses, such as the final one, is sung traditionally only at Christmas Mass.

Whether you prefer to sing in English or in Latin, either version of this holiday carol are a wonderful addition to your Christmas music performances.

"Adeste Fideles" Latin Lyrics

1. Adeste Fideles laeti triumphantes,

Venite, venite in Bethlehem.

Natum videte, Regem Angelorum;

Refrain

Venite adoremus,

venite adoremus,

venite adoremus

Dominum!

2. Deum de Deo, lumen de lumine,

gestant puellae viscera.

Deum verum, genitum non factum; (refrain)

3. Cantet nunc io chorus Angelorum

cantet nunc aula caelestium:

Gloria in excelsis Deo!

4. Ergo qui natus, die hodierna,

Jesu, tibi sit gloria.

Patris aeterni Verbum caro factum;

5. En grege relicto, Humiles ad cunas,

vocati pastores approperant.

Et nos ovanti gradu festinemus;

6. Aeterni Parentis splendorem aeternum,

velatum sub carne videbimus.

Deum infantem, pannis involutum;

7. Pro nobis egenum et foeno cubantem,

piis foveamus amplexibus.

Sic nos anamtem quis non redamaret?

8. Stella duce, Magi, Christum adorantes,

aurum, thus, et myrrham dant munera.

Jesu infanti corda praebeamus;

"Oh Come All Ye Faithful" English Lyrics

1. 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;

Refrain

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; (refrain)

3. Sing, choirs of angels, sing in exultation!

Sing, all ye citizens of heaven above:

Glory to God, glory in the highest!

4. Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning,

Jesu, to Thee be glory given.

Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing;​

5. See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,

leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze.

We too will thither bend our hearts’ oblations;​

6. 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;​

7. 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?​

8. Lo! Star-led chieftains, Magi, Christ adoring,

offer Him frankincense, gold, and myrrh.

We to the Christ-child, bring our hearts oblations;

Popular Recordings

Although the English-language version of this Christmas carol is more recognizable, there have been notable versions of both songs recorded through the years. The Italian tenor Luciano Pavoratti performed "Adeste Fideles" numerous times during his career, as has the Vienna Boys Choir. The Irish singer Enya has also recorded a version of the Latin carol. "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" has been recorded by scores of pop musicians from Frank Sinatra and Perry Como to Mariah Carey and the heavy-metal band Twisted Sister.

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Kraemer, Brandy. "Learn the Lyrics to “Adeste Fideles” in Latin and English." ThoughtCo, Oct. 26, 2017, thoughtco.com/adeste-fideles-english-and-latin-lyrics-2701295. Kraemer, Brandy. (2017, October 26). Learn the Lyrics to “Adeste Fideles” in Latin and English. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/adeste-fideles-english-and-latin-lyrics-2701295 Kraemer, Brandy. "Learn the Lyrics to “Adeste Fideles” in Latin and English." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/adeste-fideles-english-and-latin-lyrics-2701295 (accessed November 24, 2017).