Monday, December 24, 2007

O Holy Night & Silent Night

There are many Christmas songs that touch my heart. Many of them make me cry. The words really move me. Two of my favorites are, O Holy Night and Silent Night. Let me share why...

O Holy Night makes me feel like falling on my knees and praising His name. I can imagine myself seeing all the words in that song. This song was sung in our service this morning at church. Needless to say it made me cry.

O Holy Night
The words and lyrics of the old carol 'O Holy Night' were written by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure in 1847. Cappeau was a wine seller by trade but was asked by the parish priest to write a poem for Christmas. He obliged and wrote the beautiful words of the hymn. He then realised that it should have music to accompany the words and he approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adams(1803-1856). He agreed and the music for the poem was therefore composed by Adolphe Charles Adams. Adolphe had attended the Paris conservatoire and forged a brilliant career as a composer. It was translated into English by John Sullivan Dwight (1812-1893).

O Holy Night
by Placide Cappeau de Roquemaure

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appear'd and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angels' voices!
Oh night divine, Oh night when Christ was born;
Oh night divine, Oh night, Oh night Divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land.
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friend.
He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King, Behold your King.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

My other favorite is Silent Night. Once again, I can "see" the words to this song. This song is specially dear to me because of my Fair Maidens. When they were in 2nd grade, I had them enrolled in a sign language class. They learned to sign this song. I can't begin to tell you how beautiful this song is when it's signed. One can't help but be moved. Did I ever mention that my Knight and I went to Oberndorf, Austria? We were there for one week and got to see this beautiful quaint town where the writer of this song lived.

Silent Night
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!

Silent Night
by Joseph Mohr

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.

1 comment:

The Atavist said...

I love Silent Night. It has such a beautiful and haunting melody and has words of promise to us all.

I hope you have had a great Christmas.