Silent Night Is 200 Years Old

I've just reset my Christmas countdown clock to 364 days.  But I don't think that the Christmas stories need to end IMMEDIATELY.  Did you know that one of the most beloved Christmas carols just celebrated its 200th birthday?

“Silent Night” was written by Joseph Mohr and Franz Gruber in 1816 in Germany. The carol was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 at the Church of St. Nikolaus in Austria on the guitar since the organ was broken.

The original title was "Song from Heaven” and was written at a time when the Napoleonic Wars ravaged Europe. The holiday classic has been translated into around 300 languages and has been recorded over 730 times in the past 36 years.

The haunting song is usually sung by candlelight at church services worldwide on Christmas Eve.

That's how I fell in love with the song.  Growing up attending both a Lutheran school and church, one of the highlights of the holiday season was a quiet, candlelight Christmas Eve service that end with each parishioner being issued a candle.  An usher would light the candle of the worshiper at the end of each row.  That person would then light the candle of the person next to them.  This continued around the church.

To me, it has always represented the quiet of the first Christmas night and was the best way to end a service.  The song ALWAYS being sung by the congregation during the candle lighting was Silent Night.  The song would always end with an appropriate moment of silence as we all looked around in wonder at the candle-lit church. 

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