December 10 – O Come All Ye Faithful (A Christmas Carol Advent)





The tune for O Come All Ye Faithful (i.e., Adeste Fideles) is attributed to John Francis Wade.  Adeste Fideles refers to the first line of the Latin text for which Wade wrote the tune.  It is not clear when the original text was written.

Commentary & Analysis

Like many classic Christmas carols, this song recounts many of the aspects of Jesus’ birth and life.  The first verse notes that he was born in Bethlehem:

“…and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet: “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'” [Matthew 2:4-6 ESV]

The second verse refers to Jesus as:

… “Light from Light Eternal”…

The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  [John 1:9 ESV]

I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”  [Revelation 22:13 ESV]

…of the “Virgin’s womb”…

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).  [Matthew 1:22-23 ESV]

…”Son of the Father, begotten, not created.”

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.  [John 3:16 KJV]

The fourth verse recounts the story of the angels appearing to the shepherds from Luke 2:8-18 which we have covered in depth in this Christmas Carol advent.

The final verse refers to Jesus as “Word of the Father:”

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  [John 1:1 KJV]

Questions for further Reflection / Devotion

The following questions are meant for your reflection and or devotion.  Feel free to meditate on them, discuss them with your family or others or post your responses here.  I would love to hear from you.

  1. Have you ever wrestled with the eternality of God?  What other aspects of God are beyond human grasp which we accept because they are stated as true in God’s word?
  2. The famous “Christmas verse” from the book of Isaiah states that “Unto us a child is born, Unto us a son is given.”  The verse is clear that, while a baby was born, the son is given and eternal.  Spend some time meditating on the precision of God’s word.
  3. God planned for Christmas morning from before time began and before he created human beings.  Even more astoundingly, he planned to die on the cross for our sins before he ever created us.  What does this mean to you?
  4. The song tells us to come “joyful and triumphant.”  Do you live your Christian life with a sense of joy and triumph that comes in knowing Jesus Christ?
  5. How will you glorify God this Christmas season?  How will you glorify him in giving gifts?  How will you glorify him in receiving gifts?  What can you do on Christmas morning to glorify him?


O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
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;


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


See how the shepherds, summoned to His cradle,
Leaving their flocks, draw nigh to gaze;
We too will thither bend our joyful footsteps;


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?


Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be glory given;
Word of the Father, now in flesh appearing.


Return to a Christmas Carol Advent index page.

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