Different Latin Text for Adeste Fideles
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 626
    I have a question about the Latin text for Adeste Fideles. In the image there is Adeste Fideles (a) and Adeste Fideles (b) along with the English "O Come All Ye Faithful". The English text is a translation of Adeste Fideles (a) but why is there different Latin text between (a) and (b)?
  • One is a mostly-accurate rending of the English. The other is the Latin everyone knows.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    Verses two and four of version "a" are the Latin texts of the following verses, translated by W.T. Brooke (1848-1917); the Latin originals are by Abbé E.J.F. de Borderies (1764-1832):

    See how the shepherds
    Summoned to his cradle,
    Leaving their flocks, draw nigh with lowly fear;
    We too will thither
    Bend our joyful footsteps: O come, etc.

    Child, for us sinners
    Poor and in the manger,
    Fain we embrace thee, with awe and love;
    Who would not love thee,
    Loving us so dearly? O come, etc.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    The New Oxford Book of Carols gives seven verses, as follows:

    1) Adeste fideles...(O come, all ye faithful)
    2) Deum de Deo...(God of God)
    3) En grege relicto...(See how the shepherds)
    4) Stella duce, Magi...(Lo, star-led chieftains)
    5) Pro nobis egenum...(Child, for us sinners)
    6) Cantet nunc 'Io'...(Sing, choirs of angels)
    7) Ergo qui natus...(Yea, Lord, we greet thee)

    Verses 1,2,6,&7 anon. 18th century, translated, Frederick Oakley (1802-1880); verses 3&5 by Abbé Borderies (1764-1832), translated, W.T. Brooke (1848-1917); verse 4 anon. 19th century, translated, W.T. Brooke.
  • Salieri,

    I'm indebted to you for going beyond the obvious, which is what I intended to do.

    Here's what I think, though, that Don is getting at: why would there by two different versions in Latin, when there's only one version in English?
  • CHGiffenCHGiffen
    Posts: 5,021
    In version a, all the verses 2-4 begin on the upbeat, while in version b, all the verses 2-4 avoid the upbeat and begin on the downbeat (to fit the Latin text).

    Thanked by 1Don9of11
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    CGZ: Because that's what the editor decided: Mysterium Fidei.
  • hmm.
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 626
    Thank you for the insights and translation information. I was wondering if there was some Liturgical or other pre-Vatican II churchly reason for having two Latin versions of the same hymn?
  • Andrew_Malton
    Posts: 1,095
    In Wade's original published version, 1751, the familiar melody is in triple time, like a minuet. I wonder how quickly a modern congregation would take to that...?
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    One text is Abbé Borderies's text, the other is the (now) more common anonymous text: the editor(s) decided to include both texts. To my mind, they aren't really two versions of the same hymn, like "Creator alme siderum" and "Conditor alme siderum", they are two different hymns, though with a common first verse, like one is a parody (in the older sense, unrelated to comedy) of the other. I can see no theological reason for including both, I think that it's purely an artistic decision by the editor. It could just be that both texts were common at the time of publication, and so both were included. Incidentally, do you know what book this is from?

    The reason for there being two texts in the first place could be Gallicanism: It was common in the neo-Gallican rites for new office hymns to be composed from time to time (Jordanis oras praevia/On Jordan's bank, by Charles Coffin, is one such hymn), so it could be that the original anonymous text was used at Matins, and then Borderies's text used at Lauds, etc. But that is just an educated guess, and wouldn't explain why both texts are in an English-language hymnal.
    Thanked by 1CHGiffen
  • Don9of11Don9of11
    Posts: 626

    This is from the MANUAL OF CATHOLIC HYMNS compiled and arranged by Rev. B. Dieringer and Rev. Jos. J. Pierron published by the Benziger Brothers, 1916.

    I was thinking that one might have been used for say Mid-night Mass and one for Christmas Day and during the octave. Its seems that Adeste Fideles (b) became the more popular since that is the one we are most familiar with. I also agree that they are not two different hymns.

    Anyway, how interesting.
  • MatthewRoth
    Posts: 1,773
    So in my experience in France, the verses sung depends on the moment. You'll always begin with the first common verse, then you sing the appropriate verses at midnight Mass, then at dawn, and finally in the morning.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,695
    I would imagine the (a) vv are especially for the Mass at Dawn aka the Mass of the Shepherds, which of the Masses for Christmas would have been the mostly likely to be a Low Mass with hymns.

    What I don't know from experience is whether only one Mass at Dawn was the practice before the Council. I know that, right after the Council, it was typical where I grew up for the Masses before mid-morning (usually at least two of them, as sunrise was around 7:30AM at that time of year) to use the Mass at Dawn, and the rest being the Mass of the Day.
  • SalieriSalieri
    Posts: 3,146
    Interesting that the Mass at Dawn is the Shepherds' Mass, in Poland and the Polish diaspora the Midnight Mass is called Pasterka.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,695
    Whereas in English language use, one might well find Midnight Mass referred to as the Angels' Mass.