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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Carols/Carolling (10/02/08)

TITLE: One Silent Night
By LaNaye Perkins
10/08/08


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On a cold winter night long ago, a beautiful melody drifted softly over an Alpine village. Silvery moonlight caressed frozen limbs that gently swayed with a silent breeze.

A deer stood in a nearby field and lifted his heavy antlers to look toward the source of the sound. He tilted his head slightly as he listened.

Golden lights danced through the window panes of St. Nicholas Church. It was Christmas Eve and midnight mass had begun.

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


Earlier in that night the kindly priest discovered the organ was broken. Not wanting his congregation to be without music, he took action. Taking a poem he’d written two years earlier, he asked his friend to compose music for it with his guitar. The new song was ready in time for this very special midnight mass.

The priest smiled with delight as his friend lead the congregation in learning the new song and they celebrated the birth of a special tiny babe born so long ago.

Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ, the Saviour is born
Christ, the Saviour is born


A Holy anointing was evidence of the love poured into each word and note. A body could feel the sweet presence of the Lord as the congregation lifted their voices and hearts in praise to the baby king.

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


On a cold winter night so long ago, this special congregation didn’t realize the impact their new song would have. They would never have guessed the millions that would be singing it for centuries to come. Nor would they have expected how that same song still stirs our hearts each year as Christmas time comes. A song about a special baby named Jesus, that brought salvation to all who would receive.


Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace

____________________________________________

The origin of the Christmas carol we know as Silent Night was a poem that was written in 1816 by an Austrian priest called Joseph Mohr. On Christmas Eve in 1818 in the small alpine village called Oberndorf it is reputed that the organ at St. Nicholas Church had broken. Joseph Mohr gave the poem of Silent Night (Stille Nacht) to his friend Franz Xavier Gruber and the melody for Silent Night was composed with this in mind. The music to Silent Night was therefore intended for a guitar and the simple score was finished in time for Midnight Mass. Silent Night is the most famous Christmas carol of all time!


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This article has been read 612 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 10/11/08
I've heard this pretty story many times. Wouldn't you have loved to have been there to hear that guitar music for the first time!
Karin Beery10/13/08
A very unique way to give a history lesson without bogging the reader down with only the facts. I really enjoyed your presentation of this!
Chely Roach10/13/08
I have always loved the story of this song's origin. Thanks for sharing it so eloquently.
Karlene Jacobsen 10/13/08
I love history woven into a story. For me, the events become more real and memorable. Great job!
Catrina Bradley 10/13/08
I was left wanting more - what you've written is eloquent and lovely, and I would have liked to have seen this true story fleshed out even more. Oh, and the title is perfect. :)