Day: December 7, 2008

The Story Of Silent Night

Last week I shared the Legend of the Candy Cane.  This week I’m sharing the Story of Silent Night.  I hope you enjoy it.  Take care and God bless you with the peace that only He can bring…Briggie ^i^



There have been many stories of the origins of the Christmas carol “Silent Night, Holy Night.” One of the most popularly told one is as follows:
In the winter of 1818 at St. Nicholas’ Church at Obendorf, a village near Salzburg, Austria, Joseph Mohr, the assistant to the priest, faced a dilemma. It was just days before Christmas, and the church organ which was so important to providing music for the Christmas services was broken. Since the organ repairman was not a local of the village it would actually be months before the repair could be made, and Christmas would be long past.

His solution to the problem of the broken organ resulted in one of the most popular Christmas carols of all time. In 1816 Mohr had written a simple poem that the villagers could understand expressing the wonder of the birth of Jesus. He asked his friend Franz Gruber who was the organist at St. Nicholas to write music to accompany his poem so that they could sing it together using a guitar to accompany their singing.

chapelThey first performed their newly composed Christmas carol at the Christmas Eve midnight service on December 24, 1818. It did not instantly receive the worldwide recognition it has come to know, however. It was not until years later in 1825 when Carl Mauracher was rebuilding the organ at St. Nicholas that a handwritten copy of the words and music was found in the organ loft.

Mauracher was from an area in the mountains of Tyrol which had many traveling folk choirs who performed throughout Europe. He carried the carol back home, and it became a popular song with the choirs as they traveled and spread its popularity wherever they went.

In some versions of the story it is told that mice had eaten the bellows of the organ. Others say that Gruber himself had broken the organ. It is believed that there was frequent flooding of the area that caused rust and mildew to affect the condition of the church organ often making it unplayable. It is actually not known however if the organ was truly broken at Christmastime of 1818. Some say that Mohr simply wanted a new carol for the service and was fond of the guitar as an instrument. Some stories tell that both the poem and the music were hastily written that Christmas Eve. A manuscript for “Silent Night” in Mohr’s hand was discovered in 1995 which is dated 1816. In the manuscript Mohr credits the melody used for the carol to Franz Gruber.

Whatever the details of the circumstances, Joseph Mohr’s and Franz Gruber’s contribution of Christmas music for their village’s Christmas Eve midnight mass gave us all the beautiful “Silent Night, Holy Night.” submitted by Janice Hayen


holly and ivy The lyrics of the carol appear on below and reflect Joseph Mohr’s spiritual joy.  Oh, that the real meaning of Christmas would grip us this season as it did him!

As you consider the angel’s proclamation: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord” (Luke 2:11), remember that these words are for you, just as much as they were for the shepherds who first heard them.  Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem on that silent night signaled the beginning of His earthly mission to save us from our sins.  This mission included His sacrificial death on the cross, His glorious resurrection on Easter morning, and His ascension into heaven forty days later to reign as the eternal King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  holly and ivyAnd the reason for His coming to earth?  Love.  He loved us that much! “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).


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,

Heav’nly 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!