Christ, We Do All Adore Thee
“Christ, We Do All Adore Thee,” also known as “Adoramus te, Christe,” is the final movement from an oratorio “The Seven Last Words of Christ” written by Théodore Dubois in 1867, using the text as a quiet but powerful climax to his dramatic musical setting. Dubois modified the text slightly by repeating the first line and reprising it at the end. The origin of the hymn remained uncertain though. The earliest copy found dates back to around the year 990, from the St. Gall monastery in Switzerland. The text was usually sung antiphonally by the choir but sometimes as a responsorial. It was also being sung at various prayer hours for the days dedicated to the Exaltation of the Cross and the Finding of the Cross. “Christ, We Do All Adore Thee” is by far best known as part of the Mass for Good Friday.
The English translation that we have today was from Theodore Baker (1851-1934). Baker was the founder of the famous Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, and he was one of the first generations of American musicologists. The lovely German Christmas carol, "Lo, how a rose e'er blooming" and “We gather together” are some of his hymn translations that became popular. His work and output in translating hymns are almost accurately word-for-word.
Dubois’s musical setting emphasized “Thou” implying that it all came down to Christ. The story of redemption following God’s plan found on 1 Peter 1:20 came down on the shoulders of a Man weeping in agony one night in a garden begging, "if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me." In Philippians 2:8, Jesus "humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Jesus’s confession of surrender and resignation along with triumph and vindication is found in John 19:30.