Season’s Greetings Saints!
Today’s Bible Reading & Verse
Zechariah 3-4 and Revelation 13
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. Revelation 13:18
God sent a star to light the night for
The Way, The Truth, The Life–His Son.
He sent the Light of Life to prove His heart
so we would invite His Son into our own.
God has given us all the light we’ll ever
need to find peace on earth,
goodwill to men. – Pamela F. Dowd
Today’s Song Story
There are several variations on the story of the writing of this hymn, but they all center on the little Church of St. Nicholas in Obendorf, a village near Salzburg, Austria, on Christmas Eve, 1818 –– and they all recount a church organ that wouldn’t play and a priest who was determined not to let the broken organ spoil the Christmas Eve service.
In one telling of the story, a band of roving actors came to Obendorf with their Christmas play, which so inspired Fr. Joseph Mohr that he wrote this song.
In another telling of the story, when Fr. Mohr discovered that the organ was broken, he remembered a poem that he had written two years earlier. He took the poem to the church organist, Franz Gruber, who set it to music.
But the story most frequently told has Fr. Mohr discovering that the organ was broken. Distraught over the possibility that the Christmas Eve service might be ruined, he sat down and quickly wrote these verses –– and then took them to Franz Gruber, who composed the music.
At this point, the facts are lost in antiquity –– and the variations all support a central theme of adversity and inspiration and determination to save the evening. From that point the stories merge into one.
Fr. Mohr did write the words for this carol. Franz Gruber composed the music. It was first sung on Christmas Eve, 1818, in the Church of St. Nicholas in Obendorf, and the original accompaniment was a guitar. All the stories agree on those facts.
Later, when Karl Mauracher came to repair the organ, he heard the story and obtained a copy of the song. As he went about his business, he made the story and song known to other churches in the region.
Then a family of glove makers –– the Strasser family –– came into possession of a copy of the song. As they traveled through the villages in the area selling their gloves, their children would sing songs to entertain passersby and to draw attention to their merchandise –– and they added this song to their repertoire. They also sang the song at the Leipzig fair, which spread its fame further.
Then, in 1838, "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!" was published in a German Catholic hymnal –– and in 1839 the Rainers, another musical family from Austria, traveled to New York City, where they sang "Stille Nacht!" at Trinity Church –– and German immigrants brought the song with them and sang it in their churches.
By the time of the Civil War, "Silent Night" had long since been translated into English, and was a Christmas favourite in both North and South. Today it is the best known and loved Christmas carol around the world.
Copyright 2008, Richard Niell Donovan
Today’s Christmas Worship
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Peace On Earth – Big Daddy Weave
Noel – Selah
Love Has Come – Amy Grant
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen – Hillsong
Good News – Avalon
What Child is This? – Downhere
Christmas Makes Me Cry – Mandisa & Matthew West
All is Well – Michael W. Smith
Today’s Worship is a ministry of The Servant’s House, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. Come visit our Facebook page –
For information concerning our place and time of our Sunday worship call us at 514-451-4385 or 514-929-6098.
May Christ richly bless you!
The Servant’s House
LaSalle, Quebec, Canada
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