Psalm of the Month

By: A.C. Bridges (Originally printed in the January 1982 ARP Magazine.)

Our Psalm-of-the-Month is No. 49, entitled ”The Character of Heavenly Citizens,” and also taken from Psalm 24:1-6. The tune is Adeste Fideles, best known with the hymn, ”0 Come, All Ye Faithful,” and in more recent years with ”How Firm a Foundation.”

This tune had wide usage among Roman Catholics in the 18th Century. John Wade copied it in 1751 and that collection known as ”Cantus Diversi” is preserved in Lancashire, England. It is sometimes referred to as a Portuguese Hymn because the Duke of Leeds about 1785 heard it at the Portuguese Chapel and supposed it to be peculiar to the service in Portugal.

Few tunes have gained such popularity, and we are told that the pioneers in America, lacking songbooks, knew this one and sang it from memory in their meetinghouses and open-air services as well as at family worship in their log cabins.






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