1 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.
2 Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar,
heav’nly hosts sing, Alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
3 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 Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht,
nur das traute, hoch heilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
schlaf in himmlischer Ruh.
2 Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Hirten erst kundgemacht,
durch der Engel Halleluja,
tönt es laut von fern und nah:
Christ, der Retter, ist da,
Christ, der Retter, ist da!
3 Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Gottes Sohn, o wie lacht
Lieb aus deinem göttlichen Mund,
da uns schlägt die rettende Stund’,
Christ, in deiner Geburt,
Christ, in deiner Geburt.
1 ¡Noche de paz, noche de amor!
Todo duerme en derredor.
Entre los astros que esparcen su luz,
bella anunciando al niñito Jesús,
brilla la estrella de paz,
brilla la estrella de paz.
2 ¡Noche de paz, noche de amor!
Oye humilde el fiel pastor
coros celestes que anuncian salud,
gracias y glorias en gran plenitud,
por nuestro buen Redentor,
por nuestro buen Redentor.
3 ¡Noche de paz, noche de amor!
Ved qué bello resplandor
luce en el rostro del niño Jesús,
en el pesebre, del mundo la luz,
astro de eterno fulgor,
astro de eterno fulgor.
MANDARIN TRANSLITERATION -
wànàn zhōng, guānghuá shè ,
zhào zhe shèngmǔ yě zhào zhe shèngyīng ,
duōshǎo cíxiáng yě duōshǎo tiānzhēn ,
jìngxiǎng tiāncì ānmián,
jìngxiǎng tiāncì ānmián.
2 píngānyè, shèngshànyè!
mùyángrén, zài kuàngyě,
hūrán kànjiàn le tianshàng guānghuá,
tīngjiàn tiānjūn chàng hālìlùyà,
jiùzhǔ jīnyè jiàngshēng,
jiùzhǔ jīnyè jiàngshēng!
3 píngānyè, shèngshànyè!
shénzǐ ài, guāngjiǎjié ,
jiùshú hóngēn de límíng láidào ,
shèngróng fāchū láiróng guāngpǔzhào ,
yēsū wǒ zhǔ jiàngshēng,
yēsū wǒ zhǔ jiàngshēng!
Source: Christian Worship (2021): Hymnal #337
|First Line:||Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright|
|Title:||Silent Night, Holy Night|
|German Title:||Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht|
|Translator (Sts. 1, 3):||J. Freeman Young|
|Translator (sts. 2, 4):||Anonymous|
all st. = Luke 2:1-20
With a mixture of reflection and awe, the writer evokes the night of Christ's birth, recalling not only the birth but also its meaning: the Christ who is born in Bethlehem is our Savior and our King!
Parish priest Joseph Mohr (b. Salzburg, Austria, 1792; d. Wagrein, Austria, 1848) wrote the original German text in six stanzas in Oberndorf, Austria, on December 24, 1818, for St. Nicholas's Church. Because the church organ had broken down that day, Mohr and his parish organist, Franz Gruber (b. Unterweizberg, near Hochburg, Austria, 1787; d. Hallein, near Salzburg, Austria, 1863), composed this beloved hymn to be accompanied on guitar for the Christmas Eve service.
After organ repairman Karl Mauracher heard the hymn, he took the manuscript to the Tyrol region. Because it was sung by various Tyrol folk groups (including the touring Strasser "sisters" and the Rainer family), "Silent Night" became known as a “Tyrolean carol.” The hymn's widespread use enhanced its popularity throughout Europe and North America during the middle nineteenth century. Without attributing the hymn's composition to Mohr and Gruber, the Leipzig Katholisches Gesang-und Gebetbuch first published the hymn in 1838; because of the efforts of Gruber's grandson, the author and composer were soon recognized.
Author Joseph Mohr was born into a humble family–his mother was a seamstress and his father, an army musketeer. A choirboy in Salzburg Cathedral as a youth, Mohr studied at Salzburg University and was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church in 1815. Mohr was a priest in various churches near Salzburg, including St. Nicholas Church. He spent his later years in Hintersee and Wagrein.
Various English translations abound, some of which are rather free paraphrases. The familiar stanzas 1, 3, and 4 in the Psalter Hymnal come from the popular English translation by John F. Young, first published in John C. Hollister's Sunday School Service and Tune Book (1863). Henrietta Ten Harmsel (PHH 61) wrote stanza 2 and made other alterations in the text in 1984 to "stress the paradoxes and deeper meanings of Christmas."
Candlelight worship services on Christmas Eve; church school programs; "carols from many lands" choral services.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
In the small, quiet town of Oberndorf, Austria, on a snowy Christmas Eve, a priest and an organist wrote what is now the most beloved Christmas carol world-wide. Stories abound as to the exact circumstances of the hymns origin, and there are societies dedicated to the task of protecting the authentic hymn text and story. If you ever visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan, you can visit a replica of the Silent Night Chapel. Movies and operas revolve around the hymn, and almost every recording artist that has ever made a Christmas album has recorded it. In a sense, this spreading of the Word is a joy. But these honors should also make us wary. Paul Westermeyer writes, “Partly because of its popularity, STILLE NACHT can easily point to itself rather than beyond itself to the Word” (Let the People Sing, 153). It is important, then, to not simply listen to what we might consider a quaint, nostalgia-evoking carol, but to sing out the depth of these words. For the “dawn of redeeming grace” is something far greater and grander than any song we could ever write.
On December 24, 1818, Parish priest Joseph Mohr wrote six stanzas of a poem in Oberndorf, Austria. Since it was first penned by Joseph Mohr, this text has been translated into at least 175 languages, and has undergone many different English translations, many of which are rather free paraphrases. John Freeman Young’s 1859 translation is the most familiar and often used. Most hymnals include three verses, while some, such as the United Methodist Hymnal and the Baptist Hymnal 2008 add a fourth that begins, “Silent night, holy night! Wondrous star, lend thy light….” Some hymnals, like the Presbyterian Hymnal and Trinity Hymnal, include the German text.
Since the hymn was written for guitar, it would be quite fitting to use a light accompaniment, whether that be guitar, piano, flute, recorder, or a softer organ registration. If you’re looking for something a bit different, Jeanine Noyes has a fabulous upbeat guitar-driven version with drums and violin. One possibility for performing this piece with a choir or small ensemble, should you want to add variety, is to sing Daniel Kantor’s “Night of Silence,” a beautiful piece that can be sung simultaneously with “Silent Night.” This choral combination would be very fitting for a Christmas Eve service, since, as the composer says, it’s “an Advent piece that really bridges the transition from Advent into Christmas, so it’s that really vulnerable transition state between darkness and light” (Maria Baca, “StarTribune.com, December 17, 2003”).
This hymn is most often sung on Christmas Eve, especially during a Candlelight service. Because of the peaceful nature of the hymn, and the description of Christ as “pure light” in the third stanza, it is a beautiful hymn to sing during the lighting of candles, a gesture symbolizing the passing of Christ’s light and peace to one another. It is also fitting to sing after the reading of the nativity story, but could, like many Christmas hymns, work in any point of the service.
Laura de Jong, Hymnary.org