Silent Night

Posted: December 3, 2018 in Uncategorized

Advent made its brash appearance just this past Sunday. In the little congregation we attend members greened the worship space, sang carols of the season, lit the Advent candle, and read lessons of great expectation. For those of us who have been around a good while all this commotion is as familiar as an old shoe.

One of the special aspects of this Christmas season has to do with a beloved carol, Silent Night. This year marks the 200th year anniversary of the carol and congregations far and wide are making much of it.

When Franz Gruber set those lyrics of Joseph Mohr to music in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, Austria those many years ago, did he know Silent Night would become one of the greatest hits of Christian hymnody? Probably not.

For years I called on a dear elderly woman in a nursing care center. Her heritage was German and in fact grew up as a child in a Lutheran Church that conducted many of its services in German. Though dementia had slowly but surely worn away the landmarks of her memory, some things were never lost: The Lord’s Prayer, the 23rd Psalm, and Silent Night – which I would sing to her in German. When she heard the first words – Stille Nacht, Heilege Nacht – her eyes opened wide and she sang along, peering into places of great joy.

Right now our little congregation is singing Silent Night every Sunday right up to Christmas Eve: All is calm, all is bright…

Yes it is. Even when the world isn’t, it is.

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