Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Songs: Silent Night

It was Christmas Eve in the Austrian Alps but at the Church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, Father Joseph Mohr was upset because the organ was broken. But he was about to learn that our problems are God's opportunities; that the Lord causes all things to work together for good to those who love Him. It came into Father Joseph's mind to write a new song and hastily he wrote the words "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright..." That night, December 24, 1818, "Silent Night" was sung for the first time.

Shortly afterward, upon hearing of the song, Karl Mauracher, who came to repair the organ, took the text and the tune and spread it about, referring to it as "Tiroler Volkslied." It seemed perfect for the snow-clad Alpine region of Austria, and perfect for the Christian heart.

"Silent Night" was first published in 1838 in a German handbook. It first appeared in its current English form in a book of Sunday School songs in 1863.

Were it not for a broken organ, there would never have been a "Silent Night."

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