The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #29443 Message #373745
Posted By: Haruo
12-Jan-01 - 11:54 PM
Thread Name: Origins: O Come All Ye Faithful
Subject: For MarkS
Look here for a currently ongoing thread where Penny and others discuss these matters, with links to a couple of outside sites and a couple of previous threads with related material.
A New Dial, while not necessarily from the period when Catholicism went underground in England, is probably the most clearly religious-mnemonic of the texts that have been mentioned so far.
At the time of Wade's composition (or copying, since his authorship is not 100% proven) of Adeste Fideles, while the overt persecution of Catholics in England was a thing of the past and an English Catholic could no longer be imprisoned for teaching a kid a catechism (at least, I'm pretty sure this was no longer possible), the Roman Church was still subject to a fair amount of discrimination in a variety of aspects of British public life, including political activity and higher education. Hence the fact that Wade worked in Douai. The Catholics were unable to maintain monasteries and seminaries in England, so the training of priests for English parishes (though they no longer risked their lives to say mass) and the compilation and publishing of devotional and confessional printed materials were carried out on the continent. Douai had been one of the centers of this activity since the reign of Elizabeth, and the Catholic English Bible was published there in 1609 (two years before a new English Bible was dedicated to King James in London); the Catholic New Testament had come out in 1582 (I'm doing these dates from memory, so check them before you count on them) in Rheims, so the Catholic version of 1582-1609 is sometimes called the Rheims-Douay or Douay-Rheims, but usually just the Douay Version. Like the 1611 Protestant version, the Douay Bible with minor revisions remained the English Catholic standard in both UK and US until well into the 20th century. And it was at that same center of English Catholic learning in France that Wade produced the earliest known (and very likely original) manuscripts of Adeste Fideles.