Sunday, December 18, 2016

Silent Night

Silent Night, holy night. All is calm, all is bright.

Perhaps, for you, those words bring to mind the picture of a stable, with baby Jesus in the manger. Or maybe you see the shepherds on  hillside, looking in awe and fear at the light shining from the heavens.

Christmas doesn't seem quite complete without hearing or singing the song at least once.

It seems to be the one Christmas song everyone is familiar with. It's sung during the candlelight services at church; it's played softly on piano background music; and you can even find it playing in a shopping mall, where most other Christian songs wouldn't dare going.

It has reached across the battlefields of a world war. It has caused even the most bitter of enemies to lay down their weapons.

And no other song has been able to break the language barrier as much as this has. Its tune is known around the world.  It has brought peace where there was hatred, and it has brought a ray of hope, where there was once only darkness.

Take a moment to close your eyes (or don't, since that would mean you have to stop reading), block out the noise around you, perhaps gaze out your window, and step back with me in time. The year is 1818, and we're in the present-day country of Austria. Snow flakes have started gently falling where we stand, just outside the entrance to a parish.
Stepping inside, you can see the place is nearly empty. It's not dusty; you can tell it's been well taken care of. But now it's empty.
Or, nearly empty. Only two men sit at the front of the room bent over a piece of paper.
These man are Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber. The former is the writer of the beautiful words we now call "Silent Night", and the later is the church organist. You see, the organ had somehow quit working. Either from rust or mice, no one would really say. All that mattered was that it could not be played for the Christmas service. Mohr had written down a few words of a Christmas song nearly a year before, but they had sat idly on his desk. But now . . . they were just the simple words that it seemed the church was looking for. All that was needed was a tune, and a special one at that. One that would sound beautiful not with an organ, but with a guitar.
Then men seem to come to an agreement about something, and they stand and leave.
Gruber had only a few hours, but he agreed to try and write up a tune that could be played with only a guitar as an accompaniment.
He was able to accomplish this task, and that night the congregation was able to sing the new Christmas hymn for the first time.
No one could have ever predicted the sort of fame that came to this Christmas song that was first sung in an Austrian village. It has traveled the world many times over, and still has a place in our hearts today, nearly two-hundred years later. There's only one conclusion. God was behind this song. And He was using it--and is still using it--to bring glory to His name.

Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Alles schläft; einsam wacht
Nur das traute hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
Schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace

 Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Hirten erst kundgemacht
Durch der Engel Halleluja,
Tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter ist da!
Christ, der Retter ist da!

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!
Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht,
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb' aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
Da uns schlägt die rettende Stund'.
Christ, in deiner Geburt!
Christ, in deiner Geburt!

 Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love's pure light;
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth.


  1. Love that song!
    That's so interesting, Jesseca! I don't think I knew that story! I'm gonna have to go tell somebody about it now XD
    Thanks for sharing! I can't believe Christmas is only a week away!

    1. Me, too!! ^_^ Isn't it so interesting?! I really love the story! And augh, I know! It's crazy!

  2. Love it! And I've sung it in German before :)

  3. I love hearing the stories behind the Christmas songs we enjoy singing each year. I have heard this one, but it is still neat.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Glad you enjoyed, Rebekah! Thanks for reading! :)

  4. Wow, amazing story!! I think I had heard it before, but it's still just as wonderful. :)

    1. Hehe, same, Faith! But I still love it to much!


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