In 1863, nearly fifty years after being first sung in German, "Silent Night" was translated It was sung in churches, in town squares, even on the battlefield during World War I, when, during a temporary truce on Christmas Eve, soldiers sang carols from home. The English version of "Silent Night" is typically sung in three verses corresponding with the original 1, 6, and 2. The one problem was that he didn't have any music to On December 23 they arrived at Oberndorf, a village near It’s estimated that its lyrics alone have been translated into at least 140 languages. Of special note is a Chinese hymn written to a pentatonic (five-note) melody. Wei-yu Zhu and Jing-ren Wu (1921). It wasn’t until 1818 that a tune was written to make the Silent Night poem into a song. the song as originally written by Mohr and Why Silent Night Was Written "Silent Night, Holy Night" is the full name of the carol. needed   Seeking God's Gruber, in a later account, only noted that the song received approval. destroyed by floods in the 1890s was actual birthplace of "Silent Night." Mohr grew up under very humble circumstances. instrument. Sleep in heavenly peace,  Sleep in heavenly peace. Radiant beams from thy holy face, with the dawn of redeeming grace. Father Joseph Mohr was not a man to just give up however. cathedral choir to sing it every Christmas eve. It was 202 years ago when "Silent Night" was first heard by Austrian villagers attending Christmas Eve mass in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf. The story of Silent Night begins in the beautiful city of Salzburg, Austria. poem. The carol 'Silent Night' has been translated into 140 languages and renditions have been sung by everyone, from Bing Crosby to Chewbacca. The Stille Nacht Gesellschaft—or Silent Night Society—hosts a virtual Silent Night museum, tracks events, and promotes the use of all six verses, which in the words of Silent Night Society president "[encourage] peace and [demand] responsibility for the globe.". a guitar. the song as originally written by Mohr and Jesus10/40 Window explanation and Glories stream from heaven afar, heavenly hosts sing Alleluia! Silent Night was written in 1818 by Joseph Mohr and Franz X. Gruber. WRTI's Gregg Whiteside is your host. "Silent Night" in more than 100 languages, including Italian and Spanish click here. The German words for the original six stanzas of the carol we know as "Silent Night" were written by Joseph Mohr in 1816, when he was a young priest assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, Austria. Words to Silent night, holy night, Son of God, love's pure light. map   Missionaries the first chapters of Matthew and Luke put assistant pastor Josef Mohr in a meditative mood. From that hilltop, Mohr looked down on the peaceful snow-covered village. On Christmas Eve, the little Oberndorf congregation heard Discover the lyrics and story of "Silent Night" along with music videos below! Mohr was born in Salzburg in 1792 — out of wedlock. Over the years, the carol's mystique grew with its popularity. Now he can't get the phrase out of his mind. The Austrian priest Joseph Mohr was in desperate need of music for the midnight … presence? majestic silence of the wintry night, Mohr gazed down at the Christmas-card like scene. [. What British musical made 13-year-old Liam Mower the youngest Laurence Olivier Award-winner in 2006? The key to singing Silent Night is knowing the lyrics to the song. After the original manuscript was lost, for decades, some speculated that the music had been written by Haydn, Mozart or Beethoven. of "Silent Night" back to his own Alpine village, Kapfing. He was one of four children, all born out of wed lock. Weeks later, well-known organ builder Karl Mauracher arrived in Oberndorf to fix the organ However, by that evening, Gruber had managed to compose a musical setting for the its way into print in Charles Hutchins' Sunday School Hymnal.  Missions), Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Silent Night, or Stille Nacht, was written in 1818 by Franz Gruber, to words by Joseph Mohr. into English by either Jane Campbell or John Young. Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863, Silent Night song) The composer of "Silent Night!" It no longer mattered to Mohr and Gruber that their church organ was inoperable. How did this simple melody, with its words of comfort, become a beloved hymn of peace throughout the world? In the intervening years Joseph Mohr is known to have written a “Stille Nacht” arrangement around 1820, and new hand-written arrangements by Franz Gruber appeared before his death — one for a full orchestra in 1845, and another for organ in 1855. When you use this material, an acknowledgment of the source would An African martyr's languages   Silent Night in An organ builder and repair man working at the church took a copy of the six-verse song to his home village. Question:When was SIlent Night written? Mohr took his poem to the schoolmaster and organist of a nearby town, Franz Xaver Gruber. He pulled out a poem he had written several years before called “Stille Nacht”. His Declared 'unfit for church services' in France and later embraced by U.S. abolitionists, the song continues to inspire. thoughts about the Christmas play he had just seen made him remember a poem he had written a “Holy Night, Blessed Night” (“Sheng ye jing”) is so similar in spirit to the Austrian version, that it has been nicknamed the “Chinese Silent Night,” written by the Rev. An older church building not far away which was couple of years before. languages, Nazarene Missions International In the aftermath of the Napoleonic Wars, he had written the poem "Stille Nacht" in 1816 at Mariapfarr, the hometown of his father in the Salzburg Lungau region, where Joseph had worked as an assistant priest. \"Silent night, holy night.\"Tonight is Christmas Eve and St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, north of Salzburg, will be chock-full of people. Anna, alone in this world, was of very modest means with little hope of raising her lifestyle or even marrying. Joseph Mohr, the young priest who wrote the lyrics, played the guitar and sang along with Franz Xaver Gruber, the choir director who had written the melody. Sleep in heavenly peace. How to say say "Merry Christmas" in 80 Time magazine found that “Silent Night” is by far the most recorded carol in America since 1978, outstripping runner-up “Joy to the World” almost two to one. "Silent Night," by 1914, known around the world, was sung simultaneously in French, German and English. He asked that Gruber write a melody to accompany the poem on guitar. While the lyrics were written in 1816 by a Catholic priest named Joseph Franz Mohr, it was not until two years later that Franz Xaver Gruber composed music to go with the words. path took him up over a hill overlooking the village. That ordination in 1815 might not have happened at all. Salzburg where they were to re-enact the story of Christ's birth in the small Church of St. Camerata Sings Christmas Carols Live on WRTI. Today, the Franz Xaver Gruber Museum in Hallein and the Joseph Mohr School in Wagrain, Austria honor the creators of this classic carol. Unfortunately, the St. Nicholas' church organ wasn't working and would not be repaired Silent Night was the collaboration of two good friends. this most famous of Christmas carols came to be written: In 1818, a roving band of actors was performing in Eight years later, that English version made Following its first performance in Oberndorf, Austria in 1818, it took decades before “Stille Nacht” became the worldwide Christmas classic it is today. International License. The story begins that in 1818 Fr. in St. Nicholas church. Looking for the perfect Spotify playlist for the holidays? "He was inspired...the town was at peace.". Inspired by the Christmas story of Jesus' birth, Mohr wrote this hymn as a celebration of the anticipation of the arrival of the newborn savior. (Note: some versions of the story point to mice as the problem; others trip   Nazarene Missions International Silent Night was originally created to be accompanied by a guitar. Xaver Gruber. WRTI's Susan Lewis has the story. Here is how they got to Oberndorf. They More Questions: What was the motto of the 1972 Munich Olympic games? In 1994, an original manuscript was found in Mohr's handwriting, with Gruber named as composer. Deeply impressed, Mauracher took copies of the music and words Here's the story of how Instead of walking straight to his house that night, Mohr took a longer way home. John Freeman Young’s “Silent Night” (1863) The original words and music for “Stille Nacht” (“Silent Night”) were created in Austria by Joseph Mohr (words) and Franz Xaver Gruber (melody). The German words for the original six stanzas of the carol we know as "Silent Night" were written by Joseph Mohr in 1816, when he was a young priest assigned to a pilgrimage church in Mariapfarr, Austria. which that poem could be sung. Joseph Mohr, who wrote the text, was the young parish priest at St. Nicholas Church, and Franz Xaver Gruber, who composed the music, was a local school teacher and the church organist. Young, for instance, made “Silent Night” accessible as a symbolic salve for addressing some of the tensions that the young nation torn by Civil War was soon to endure. So, the next day Mohr went to see the church organist, Franz It's a song about a calm and bright silent night, and the wonder of a tender and mild newborn child, words written in 1816 by a young priest in Austria, Joseph Mohr, not long after the Napoleonic wars had taken their toll. "Silent Night" are sung around the world in in more than 300 different languages. Silent Night was born. Night" for King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Twenty years after "Silent Night" was written, the Rainers brought the song to the United States, singing it in German at New York City's Trinity Church. both groups put the new song into their Christmas season repertoire. It was a dark December evening in Philadelphia, just a few days shy of the winter solstice. Listen to this delightful performance by the Wissahickon High School Camerata Choir, led by John Conahan, when they were live on the radio and on the WRTI Facebook page on December 12th. This is the story behind its success. He liked it so much that he ordered his cathedral choir to sing it every Christmas eve. Decked in down against the cold, people streamed into the Kimmel Center's cavernous lobby from the front and side doors. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. Mohr had asked Mr. Gruber to compose a melody to go with the words of the song that he had written a few years prior. Check out WRTI's Classical and Jazz holdiay playlist here! Perhaps Mohr wanted to play his guitar or even just desired to hear something new. That poem was about the night when angels announced the birth of the Shepherds quake at the sight! Reveling in now had a Christmas carol that could be sung without that organ. The story behind "Silent Night" Why was "Silent Night" written? Though there are conflicting stories as to why it was written for guitar, as most carols of the time were written for organ. From an early age on, he was educated in music, especially by the organist of the parish Burghausen. for Mohr's Christmas poem. The longer Father Joseph Mohr has a homily in mind, a message for his flock on this sacred night, but he needs a carol, something special to cap off the service.The words won't go away. In 1834, they performed "Silent Night" for King Frederick William IV of Prussia. Image sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent-Night-Chapel and will? States, singing it in German at New York City's Trinity Church. Josef Mohr, author / Franz Gruber, composer "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night" -- Luke 2:8 The reason "Silent Night" was created: How the world's most famous Christmas carol came to be written and set… Gruber. Many have speculated that the church’s organ was broken, but there are no records to support this. It was written almost 200 years ago to be performed on Christmas Eve in St. Nicholas' Church in the village of Oberndorf, Austria. towns throughout the Austrian Alps. before Christmas. Silent Night was written in 1818 by Joseph Mohr and Franz X. Gruber Tom Hill / Unsplash It was 202 years ago when "Silent Night" was first heard by Austrian villagers attending Christmas Eve mass in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf. No one knows why Mohr wanted this music to be written, or even why he wrote his six-stanza poem in 1816. International License, Are we more interested in His presents than we are His Consider the well-known Christmas Truce of 1914. Holy Infant, so tender and mild, singers — the Rainers and the Strassers — heard it. resources, Modern Missionary Movement (History of It's the first line from a poem this young Austrian priest had written two years before. By the 1920s, "Silent Night" was so well known that a chapel was built on the spot where St Nicholas church stood. holy night! The story behind "Silent Night" Why was "Silent Night" written? say rust was the culprit) Because the church organ was out of commission, the actors Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright. When Gruber sat down, his fingers began playing the simple melody he had written When Mauracher finished, he stepped back to let Gruber test the The composition evolved, and was translated into over 300 languages with many different arrangements for various voices and ensembles. How Silent Night was received by the Oberndorf congregation that first night is unknown. The Strasser sisters spread the carol across northern Europe. Eventually, the carol’s theme of hope for ordinary people became accessible across time and space. In 1839, the Rainer family of singers debuted the carol outside Trinity Church in New York City. resources. Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth, Jesus, Lord, at Thy birth. Silent night, holy night! Silent Night was chosen by the Church in Wales for people to sing at 19:00 GMT on Christmas Eve. All is calm, all is bright, The Memorial Chapel ultimately became the visible symbol of the song "Silent Night". It was Christmas Eve, 1818, when the now-famous carol was first performed as Stille Nacht Heilige Nacht. Classical Video from WRTI's Performance Studio, When 1,200 Music Lovers in Philadelphia Came Together To Sing a Beloved Carol, This Is What Happened, Watch and Listen: The Wissahickon H.S. It was there, while trudging through the snowmaking parish visits, that he wrote a poem, a year after his ordination, which he titled “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” (which, as you have already guessed, means “Silent Night, Holy Night). The chapel was eventually completed on August 15, 1937, the Feast of the Assumption. While Barbara and I were serving as missionaries in Europe, we visited the small Gruber, How to say say "Merry Christmas" in 80 How do you sing Silent Night? Silent Night Chapel near Salzburg, Austria. Korean   Devotional: Sweet little baby In the splendor of that baroque city ruled by the Prince Archbishop, a simple weaver named Anna lived.  |  Phone: 405-740-4149 There, two well-known families of "Silent Night" is a well-known Christmas hymn with lyrics written by Joseph Mohr in 1816. Mohr’s text seems to have inspired the Chinese poets. Begun in 1924, construction of a memorial chapel proceeded slowly under the difficult political and economic conditions of the First Austrian Republic. evening at their Christmas eve service. Gruber and Mohr sing their new composition to the accompaniment of Gruber's guitar. See a copy of That Christmas presentation of the events in Captivated by "Silent Night," Christ, the Savior is born, Christ, the Savior is born. 'Round yon Virgin Mother and Child, Holy Infant so tender and mild. Mohr decided those words might make a good carol for his congregation the following One of the most ubiquitous is the carol “Silent Night” (originally “ Stille Nacht ”) by Joseph Mohr (1792–1848) and Franz Gruber (1787–1863). long-awaited Messiah to shepherds on a hillside. In 1834, they performed "Silent On more than one occasion in both World Wars, fighting at Christmas was brought to a temporary close by troops singing their native versions of “Silent Night” to … Dave Hartley and Keith White playing "Silent Night" on pedal steel guitars, Christmas season resources:    Silent Night was written as a poem by an Austrian priest by the name of Joseph Mohr in 1816. Silent Night One of the most iconic Christmas songs, Silent Night made its world premier on Christmas Eve 1818 in the small Austrian town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg. Check out these recordings of "Silent Night" from around the world. He liked it so much that he ordered his Are you ready for Christmas? Nicholas. Today, the words of There’s a wonderful story about the carol “Silent Night.” Supposedly, the song was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818, just a few hours after it had been written. https://www.stillenachtmanufaktur.at/de/geschichte/des-liedes/. Gruber only had a few hours to come up with a melody which could be sung with Howard Culbertson, 5901 NW 81st, Oklahoma City, OK 73132 The Reverend Kevin Ellis, vicar of Bro Eleth parish on Anglesey, said the song is … Sleep in heavenly peace, The credibility comes from the story itself and that it has been repeated since the early to mid 1800's. In 1834, the Strasser family performed it for the King of Prussia. commitment   Ten ways to ruin your mission "Stille Nacht" was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. was born November 25th 1787 in Hochburg (Upper Austria). be appreciated. presented their Christmas drama in a private home. 'Round yon virgin mother and Child! But in that fall of 1816, a young Catholic priest, Joseph Mohr, had written a six-verse Christmas poem that began “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” — Silent Night, Holy Night — … By 1900 … Silent night! The story of how the song Silent Night gained popularity is more story than fact because there are no facts to back it up. How did this simple melody, with its words of comfort, become a beloved hymn of peace throughout the world? "The backstory is that the priest went for a walk before he wrote it, and he looked out over a very quiet, winter-laden town," says composer/conductor John Conahan, who co-organized the Silent Night Sing-In with WRTI in 2018 and 2019, and created a new arrangement of the famous carol. Listen to the Wissahickon Camerata led by John Conahan, recorded live in the WRTI Performance Studio on December 12, 2018 with Host Gregg Whiteside. Reverend Joseph Mohr A young priest in Mariapfarr. There, it was picked up and spread by two families of traveling folk singers, who performed around northern Europe. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Its original title in German is Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht. 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