Silent Night: A classic

Posted by Brenda Yoho

Silent Night was written in 1818 by Joseph Moho and Franz X. Gruber. In the fall of 1816, Joseph Moho, a young priest, was assigned to Mariapfarr.

Mariafarr is a small alpine village in Austria and was left poverty-stricken by Napoleonic Wars, along with an eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia, which left volcanic ash in the atmosphere causing weather changes. This all leads to widespread famine with the loss of crops.

The verses Joseph wrote, were to help the congregation know God and Jesus still loved them. “It was Christmas Eve, 1818, when the now-famous carol was first performed as Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht. Joseph Mohr, the young priest who wrote the lyrics, played the guitar and sang along with Franz Xaver Gruber, the choir director who had written the melody.”

While writing the song, it seemed like the corner of his world was in chaos. It was said that he went for a walk and could not believe the calmness he felt amid the turmoil. This was when he went back to write the six lyrics you will find below as the song begins.

Silent Night

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

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

As we look out into our corner of the world, what do we see? May we reflect on the particular time of this year as we feel the calmness and warmth of the gift we receive. As the star shines bright, may it capture your heart and remain as we begin to prepare for the New Year.

"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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