Entertainment Music 5 Latin Christmas Carol Lyrics Share PINTEREST Email Print Marianne O'Leary / Flickr / CC BY 2.0 Music Latin Music Rock Music Pop Music Alternative Music Classical Music Country Music Folk Music Rap & Hip Hop Rhythm & Blues World Music Punk Music Heavy Metal Jazz Oldies Learn More By N.S. Gill Ancient History and Latin Expert M.A. in Linguistics, University of Minnesota B.A. in Latin, University of Minnesota N.S. Gill is a freelance classics and ancient history writer. She has a master's degree in linguistics and is a former Latin teacher. our editorial process N.S. Gill Updated January 15, 2020 Singing Christmas carols in Latin is a fun way to celebrate the history of Christmas. Carols have their roots in the 13th century C.E., based on secular songs that were popular then. Franciscan friars took the form and music of the pop songs and recast them with religious texts in Latin, for use in strictly religious contexts. Their function was as a type of religious propaganda, and many were sung specifically in holy processions. By the middle of the 14th century, the texts had been translated into vernacular languages (Middle French and English). They became secularized again by the 15th century, becoming carols sung by people outside of religious ceremonies. Over the subsequent centuries, the text was updated as the languages developed — for example, as Middle English developed into Modern English — so when you sing a carol in Latin, you can show off your sense of history. Here are a handful of the most well-known English carols in their Latin forms: Veni, Emmanuel (O Come, O Come, Emmanuel)Veni, veni Emmanuel!Captivum solve Israel!Qui gemit in exilio,Privatus Dei Filio,Gaude, gaude, EmmanuelNascetur pro te, Israel.Veni, veni o oriens!Solare nos adveniens,Noctis depelle nebulas,Dirasque noctis tenebras.Gaude, gaude EmmanuelNascetur pro te, Israel.Veni, veni Adonai!Qui populo in SinaiLegem dedisti vertice,In Maiestate gloriae.Gaude, gaude EmmanuelNascetur pro te Israel. Regis olim urbe David (Once in Royal David's City)Regis olim urbe David,Sub bovili misero,Mater posuit infantemIn praesaepi pro lecto:Mitis Maria mater;Iesus Christus is puer.De caelo ad nos descenditDeus, Dominus orbis;Ei tectum est bovileEt praesaepe pro cunis.Pauperum virum amatorSancte vixisti Salvator.Et puertiam per miramObservanter parebatVirgini eidem matri,Quae cum pepererat:Tentent et discipuliEsse similes ei.Nam exemplum ille nobis:Nostri crescebat instar;Parvus quondam, imbecillus,Flens et ridens nobis par,Perticeps tristitiaeIdem et laetitiae. Tandem illum nos cernemusEx amore aeterno:Puer enim ille parvusSummo regnat iam caelo,Atque eo nos ducitQuo et ipse praeiit.Nec in stabulo misello,Bubus prope stantibus,Tunc videbitur, sed celsus,Sedens Deo proximus:Comites tum coronatiCircumstabunt candidati. Adeste Fideles (O Come, All Ye Faithful)Laeti triumphantesVenite, venite in BethlehemNatum videteRegem angelorumVenite adoremus, Venite adoremus,Venite adoremus, DominumCantet nunc ioChorus angelorumCantet nunc aula caelestiumGloria, gloriaIn excelsis DeoVenite adoremus, Venite adoremus,Venite adoremus, DominumErgo qui natusDie hodiernaJesu, tibi sit gloriaPatris aeterniVerbum caro factusVenite adoremus, Venite adoremus,Venite adoremus, Dominum Dormi, Jesu! (The Virgin's Cradle-Hymn) Words by S. T. Coleridge and Sibylline Leaves, 1817 Dormi, Jesu! Mater ridetQuae tam dulcem somnum videt,Dormi, Jesu! blandule!Si non dormis, Mater plorat,Inter fila cantans orat,Blande, veni, somnule. Sleep, sweet babe! my cares beguiling:Mother sits beside thee smiling;Sleep, my darling, tenderly!If thou sleep not, mother mourneth,Singing as her wheel she turneth:Come, soft slumber, balmily! Gloria in Excelsis Deo The refrain of this French carol translated into English as "Angels We Have Heard on High" is "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" in Latin. Here's one version of the English version of the carol. The translation from French to English is by Bishop James Chadwick. Angels we have heard on highSweetly singing o'er the plains,And the mountains in replyEchoing their joyous strains.RefrainGloria, in excelsis Deo!Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Shepherds, why this jubilee? Why your joyous strains prolong?What the gladsome tidings beWhich inspire your heavenly song? Refrain Come to Bethlehem and seeHim whose birth the angels sing;Come, adore on bended knee,Christ the Lord, the newborn King. Refrain See Him in a manger laid,Whom the choirs of angels praise;Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,While our hearts in love we raise. Refrain Sources Coleridge, S.T. "The Virgin's Cradle-Hymn." Sibylline Leaves, Ancient English Christmas Carols: 1400-1700, Chatto & Windus, 1914, London. Duncan, Thomas G., Editor. "A Companion to the Middle English Lyric." New edition, Boydell & Brewer, D. S. Brewer, 2005. Latinteach. "Gaudete, Gaudete! Latin Christmas and Holiday Songs!" Latin Teach, December 5, 2010. Rickert, Edith. "Ancient English Christmas Carols 1400 to 1700." Hardcover, Franklin Classics, October 12, 2018. Robbins, R. H. "The Earliest Carols and the Franciscans." Modern Language Notes, Vol. 53, No. 4, The Johns Hopkins University Press, JSTOR, April 1938. Robbins, Rossell Hope. "Middle English Carols as Processional Hymns." Studies in Philology, Vol. 56, No. 4, University of North Carolina Press, JSTOR, October 1959. "The Hymns and Carols of Christmas." Hymns and Carols of Christmas, 2020.