On Christmas Eve 1818, a song was born that would find its way into the hearts of people throughout the world.
Its songwriters could hardly imagine the impact their composition would have on the world.
Now translated into hundreds of languages, it is sung by countless millions every December from great cathedrals in Antwerp and Rome, to fireside sing-a-longs in St Albert.
THE MOST RECORDED CAROL OF ALL TIME
It is the most recorded Christmas song of all time and the most downloaded from iTunes.
“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.”
The song was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorf, Austria. The Internet is filled with a plethora of stories, each telling the supposed back story of the song. No one knows for certain how this carol was inspired.
What is known with certainty is the song debuted at Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church. The assistant pastor, Joseph Mohr, accompanied on guitar by the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, were the first to give voice to “Silent Night” or “Stille Nacht.”
Of all the testaments to the song’s widespread endearment none speak louder than the historic role it played on the battlefields of WW1.
As Christmas 1914 approached the guns fell silent and their sounds were replaced with the sounds of a different silence – “Silent Night.” It was the one carol that soldiers on both sides of the front lines knew.
QUESTION: When was the first time you recall singing the carol “Silent Night?” Please leave a comment below.
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