History of Christmas carols in the LDS hymnbook

Published: Thursday, Dec. 22 2011 9:00 a.m. MST

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LDS.org
202. England. Text and music: attributed to John Francis Wade (ca. 1711-1786)

The origins of this hymn are still questioned. The oldest manuscripts in which it has been found date back to the 18th century.

All of those manuscripts list Wade as the copyist — and it’s possible he’s also the author. The hymn was originally in Latin, titled “Adeste Fidelis” and translated by Catholic priest Frederick Oakley.

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Hans in California
Valencia, CA

The numbers for the hymns in the LDS Hymnbook are not page numbers; they're hymn numbers!

Rich in California
Palo Alto, CA

To the best of my knowledge, the *original* text of "Joy to the World" said "the Lord is come". W. W. Phelps changed it to "the Lord will come", and actually rewrote the entire hymn, changing it from a Christmas song to a Second Coming song. The 1985 hymnal restored the original first line, but left the rest of Bro. Phelps' millennial text basically intact.

I've long been concerned that our version of this hymn may be a stumbling block for some of our friends of other faiths, who may assume our insistence on a total rewrite of the lyrics must mean we have major theological objections to the traditional text -- something I really don't think is the case.

Lucy
Phoenix, AZ

Oh please on the page numbers.

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