Friday, December 23, 2011

December 23
Silent Night
Music by Franz Gruber
Text by Joseph Mohr

There are thousands of Christmas carols, some beautiful, some humorous, some just plain bad.  Many of the traditional hymns are musical homages to the birth of our Lord.  Some, such as Handel’s Messiah, or Joy to the World, are jubilant paeans to His majesty.  Others evoke images of our Savior’s humble birth.  “Silent Night” is instantly recognizable, whether sung in English, French, German or any language, or simply played instrumentally.  Its haunting melody transports us to the manger over two thousand years ago and speaks peace to a troubled soul.  Though still and soft, it commands attention so much that the words often become secondary.  Yet the words carry no less power and force and welcome not only the newborn babe but the Savior of the world.

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.

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