Wednesday, December 24, 2008

THE STORY BEHIND SILENT NIGHT

From TODAY, Voices

Tuesday December 23, 2008

 

By Dr James Dobson

 

It was Dec 23, 1818, in the small Austrian village of Oberndorf. Father Josef Mohr had begun preparing the music for the Christmas Eve service at his church.

 

That evening, he attended the town Christmas play, then made his way up a nearby mountain overlooking the city.

 

There he sat, taking in the beauty of the evening darkness and the starlit sky overhead.

 

He reached home around midnight and sat down to pen a new song, one which could be played on the guitar, because the church organ was broken.

 

With the freshness of the mountain evening still on his mind, he began to write. All the while, the words flowed from his pen.

 

The next morning he asked his organist, Franz Gruber, to put a tune to the poem, something that could be played on a guitar. A few hours later, the task was accomplished.

 

And so it was, on Christmas Eve, 1818, that Father Mohr sang tenor and Franz Gruber sang bass, as the tiny town of Oberndorf heard for the first time a simple new song, a song that has since touched millions of lives around the world.

 

They called it Stille Nacht. You and I know it as Silent Night. 

 

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