Silent Night…Holy Night!

On Christmas Eve 1818 the carol “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time in a village church in Oberndorff, Austria. As the fame of this carol grew, its whereabouts were slowly forgotten. Myths and fanciful tales gathered around its origins. Here comes the fascinating tale from Irmgard Essers, about the birth of the famous carol…from the author’s book A Miraculous Christmas.

Once upon a time, nearly 200 years ago, exactly in the year 1818, in a little town in Austria, it happened. There in Oberndorff, in the little church of this small town, Christmas, the Birth of the Child Jesus, was going to be celebrated. But there was still no Christmas carol ready to be sung for the Midnight Mass.

So, a brave by the name of Joesph Mohr invented, quickly, some lyrics for a carol. He showed the lyrics to his friend Franz Gruber, a teacher in the neighboring village. Franz composed, immediately, the melody to the lyrics. And, lo, the Christmas carol, Silent Night, Holy Night, was born.

Some farmers who lived in the nearby villages were hastily called together to form a choir and to sing the new carol. But, how sad, the church organ was suddenly not working! Hence, the choir had only one guitar to accompany the singers.

But one guitar was sufficient. No one had ever before heard this carol. It was new to the ears of the congregation gathered in the little church of Oberndorff. What a triumphant, synchronistic moment it was on the special Christmas Eve.

It came to pass that the Birth of the Child Jesus was celebrated simultaneously with the birth of the Christmas carol, Silent Night, Holy Night, a song that was to make a triumphant march around the world, a song that would be sung by millions on many more Christmases to come.

Could Joseph, Franz, the choir, or the humble congregation imagine such an outcome? Hardly.

Meantime, year after year Silent Night, Holy Night is sung by multitudes of voices in multitudes of languages on all continents in honour of the birth of the Christ Consciousness on Earth.

Perhaps it makes God so happy when we sing, Silent Night, Holy Night, and our hearts open up for the Holy Child of Love residing there, to come out and enter the world. Joseph and Franz and the tiny congregation at Oberndorff would have wished it to be so.

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,

Heav’nly hosts sing Alleluia:

Christ the Saviour is born,

Christ the Saviour 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.


II Samastha Lokah Sukhino Bhavantu II