Christmas songs #14: Silent night

It’s interesting how the nighttime has always been associated with the Christmas story. The shepherds saw the angels at night, and the wise men followed a star, which naturally would be visible at night. The Scriptures seem to invite us to consider the story as a nighttime story, and so many of our songs emphasize that point.

This nighttime song was written for Midnight Mass in 1818 in Oberndorf, Austria. The organ was broken and so the song was first sung with guitar accompaniment. It’s one of the most beautiful songs ever written, don’t you think?

(To hear the song, click the link or paste into your browser. Finally, where it says “Don’t have a Rhapsody account?”, push “Play Now.”)

Lyrics (
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 the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth.

Silent night, holy night
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

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