Oh, Holy Night

Representative Text

1 O holy night! the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior's birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till he appeared 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!
O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

2 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 came 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, before him lowly bend!

3 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 pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!
His pow'r and glory evermore proclaim!

Source: Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #255

Translator: John S. Dwight

John Sullivan Dwight, born, in Boston, May 13, 1813, was a virtuoso in music, and an enthusiastic student of the art and science of tonal harmony. He joined a Harvard musical club known as "The Pierian Sodality" while a student at the University, and after his graduation became a prolific writer on musical subjects. Six years of his life were passed in the "Brook Farm Community." He was best known by his serial magazine, Dwight's Journal of Music, which was continued from 1852 to 1881. His death occurred in 1893. The Story of the Hymns and Tunes, Brown & Butterworth, 1906.… Go to person page >

Author: Placide Cappeau

Placide Cappeau (October 25, 1808 – August 8, 1877) was a French poet and the author of the well-known poem, "Minuit, chrétiens" (O Holy Night) (1847), which was set to music by Adolphe Adam. He was born on 25 October 1808 at 8 p.m. in Roquemaure (Gard). He was the son of Mathieu Cappeau, a cooper, and Agathe Louise Martinet. From the beginning, he was destined to follow his father in the family business (vinification and cooperage); but after an accident, he turned to the life of an academic. The accident occurred when he was eight years old, while "playing" with his friend Brignon. The young Brignon was handling a gun and shot Cappeau in the hand. This led to the young Cappeau having to undergo an amputation of his hand. Thanks to t… Go to person page >

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