O come, all ye faithful
is a hymn on the Prose for Christmas Day and should properly be sung between the Gradual and the Gospel. The original words and melody are attributed to John Francis Wade (1711–1786) who was a member of the teaching staff of the Roman Catholic English College at Douai, a French town on the river Scarpe in the Nord department. The text was first printed in the 1760 edition of Evening Offices of the Church
, the tune in Samuel Webbe’s An Essay on the Church Plain Chant
, published in 1782. The present descant is by Philip Ledger.
from notes by Wadham Sutton © 1993