Guidelines: Holy Night

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By Simon Ambit

Christmas is a special time and I look forward to it each year. I love the added family gatherings and the fun that the season brings. During this time of the year, with gifts and carols, twinkling lights and wrapped packages and with angels and stars atop each Christmas tree, I feel an added energy around us as the spirit of Christmas comes to life. I hope that as we look at the lights, the stars and angels and as we sing Christmas music and gather to tell stories, we take time to think of the first chapter; the start of it all, the holy night which ushered in the miraculous event of Christmas.

In 1816, Joseph Mohr wrote a poem, describing the tender setting of that first Christmas night. Two years later while serving as an assistant priest, Mohr was asked to provide a carol for the Christmas Eve Midnight Mass. With only hours of time before the services were slated to begin, Mohr walked nearly two miles to the home of his friend Franz Gruber. Revealing the poem to Gruber, Mohr shared his desire to set the words to music. Within just a few hours the two had composed a melody. The carol “Stille Nacht” was performed at Midnight Mass and the song we know as Silent Night was born.

Silent night, holy night,
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child.
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.

Silent night, holy night,
Shepherds quake at the sight;
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born!

Silent night, holy night,
Son of God, love’s pure light;
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth

From the peaceful eve, to the redeeming dawn; may we all enjoy Christmas this year and enjoy the spirit of the birth of the Christ child. Take time to teach the children who it is that all of the symbols of Christmas are to remind us of. As we give the gifts and sing the carols, may we recall that among all the events of the season, it all started on a silent and holy night. How grateful I am for Jesus Christ and the reason for His season. Life is good, tell the story!