Silent Night

As you’re winding up for Christmas, it might be a surprise to remember that the night of Christ’s birth was awfully quiet. Aside from the noises of the animals around the manger, we believe that the night Jesus was born was one of peace and light.

I know it can be hard to remember that when your home has a lot going on: kids home from school, relatives coming in the door, and the dog is so happy to see everyone. There’s probably a Christmas movie going on the TV or music on your speaker, too! But “Silent Night”, today’s Carol of Comfort & Joy, is the perfect reminder of the peaceful First Christmas.

“Stille Nacht” – that’s “Silent Night” in German – comes from Austrian primary school teacher and organist Franz Xaver Gruber and Catholic priest and writer Joseph Mohr. Joseph had come to Oberndorf bei Salzburg in 1816 with the poem “Stille Nacht” in hand. Then, on Christmas Eve in 1818, he brought the poem to Gruber and asked if he could create accompaniment to it.  Gruber loved the poem and gave it beautiful accompaniment on the guitar – the organ was broken at the time! – and then gave it to their organ repairman. He passed it along, and it was in the rotation of folk singers and carolers by the following Christmas. Its first performance was in their little town of Obendorf bei Salzburg at St. Nicholas Parish.

“Silent Night” was recorded in 1905 for the first time and was declared a major piece of cultural heritage over 100 years later. And even today, once you hear the first few notes, it’s hard not to sing along!

So, enjoy singing along to the Embers Academy choir’s rendition of “Silent Night” below!

Rev. Francis J. Hoffman, "Fr. Rocky" is the Executive Director/CEO of Relevant Radio and a priest of Opus Dei.