Last year was the 200th anniversary of “Silent Night” (1719-2019). This may be one of the most beloved Christmas songs.
Each year, our church closes with a candlelight service by singing “Silent Night, Holy Night; All is calm, all is bright…” You can join us in singing this with us on Christmas Eve at Grace Covenant, 444 Creamery Way, Exton, PA. (5:00 and 7:00 PM).
The famous history of the song was that a flood had ruined the organ at the church in Oberndorf, Austria. Joseph Mohr brought his words to Franz Gruber to write a tune for guitar since the organ was out of commission. The song was met with affection and was shared broadly.
Ironically, as many have pointed out, it was more likely a noisy night. Cattle and oxen surround the holy family. A cry went out as Mary endured labor pains and delivery (with no drugs or doctors). Babies cry; and so did Jesus!
Yet nostalgia of Silent Night is so enchanting and warm, and reminds us of the Prince of Peace brings peace. It was a holy night, and I’m sure there was also a holy hush when things quieted down.
This version, with piano (not guitar), plays with the rhythm slightly to emphasize the message. It’s jazzy and mello. So slow down, fix a cup of hot cocoa or tea, and put your earphones on…and then listen to Silent Night.
Here’s where you can find the whole album, Emmanuel.