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.
Worship through music is one of the key ways I connect to the Lord. While I am not very musically inclined, I spiritually connect the most through song. In moments of worship and raising my hands to the Lord, I get absolute chills. I feel the Lord’s presence and it means I am connecting with Him. When I hear “Silent Night” at Christmas time, I really feel that heavenly peace and connection with Jesus. Going to church and hearing that song, the cares of the world are drowned out. You almost feel as if you are invisible! Sitting and listening to “Silent Night” while staring at the twinkling lights of the Christmas tree, driving in the car in the dark listening to this song and seeing the snow and houses lit up—these are such wondrous moments. Little did I know that this song that gives me such great peace came from someone who had a rough back story.*
If you’ve never heard the story of how “Silent Night” came to be, it is quite the story that illustrates how God works in people’s lives and creates something beautiful. Joseph Mohr was born in circumstances that made him socially unacceptable, therefore, he was an outcast. Joseph’s father had abandoned him and his mother. Without this father figure, God orchestrated a father figure in his life which was the church choirmaster. Joseph had musical abilities and learned many instruments, along with a musical education. He ended up becoming a priest and was ordained at 23 years old. Joseph wrote a poem that was inspired by a painting of Mary and the three wise men. Franz Xaver Gruber composed the music to Mohr’s poem. Joseph sang the song and Franz played a guitar. The song was played shortly after midnight on the morning of December 25, 1818 at the St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria. The organ at the church wasn’t working so they performed it with just a guitar. An organ repair man heard the song and brought it back to his hometown. A family of singing sisters heard this song and incorporated this into their set as they traveled around. The song eventually became a German tradition at Christmas. “Silent Night” was performed for the first time in Central Park, Manhattan in 1839. It was then translated into English by John Freeman Young in 1863.
It is an incredible example of how God takes something broken, from the pit of despair, neglected by society, and turns it into something beautiful. One of the single greatest moments in history, and God reminds us with this song. A song that is really so simple, yet it cuts so deep. I love this story because it shows me how God can use anyone. He gives us all these talents to make such a huge impact in the world. Joseph’s talent for music was used by God to touch hearts and bring about peace. Little did Joseph know that this poem would turn into a Christmas music staple. This poem would have such a profound impact on how it touched hearts and how it still continues to touch hearts today.
This has always been one of my favorite Christmas hymns. There is something so calming and peaceful about the song. The overall elements of the song just soothe my soul. It is moments like these when I hear the song during the holidays, where it just moves me to tears. I can picture that night; Jesus was lying in the manger. His parents were by His side and He was sleeping in ‘heavenly peace.’ Everyone there I can imagine was in a ‘heavenly peace’ as well. All I can think about is the fact that this peace was driven by the single greatest moment in history. Imagine the awe and wonder in everyone there, what that moment must have felt like seeing Baby Jesus in that manger. God sent His Son, Jesus, in human flesh to die for our sins. Jesus, the only one who can bring us peace; He is the Prince of Peace! Joseph ends the poem in such a powerful way…with Christ our Savior being born!
Silent night, holy night!
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
With the angels let us sing,
Alleluia to our King;
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!
- Take a moment to listen to “Silent Night” by Josh Groban! https://youtu.be/OA2i_Ujidoc
- Read the story from the link to learn more about “Silent Night. https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/meaning-behind-the-song-silent-night.html
- Reflect on a Christmas song that is meaningful to you. Find out its backstory.
- Share in the comments below!