I promised to give background on some of the hymns that we as Christians sing in worship. The hymn I have chosen for December is probably the most well-known Christmas carol in America. On Christmas Eve of this year we will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the writing of the beloved carol “Silent Night.”
Joseph Mohr (1792-1848) was the associate pastor of St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church in Obendorf, Austria. The text he composed was set to music by Franz Gruber (1787-1863). They sang it as a duet with guitar accompaniment because the organ pipes were not cooperating. In 1863 an American Episcopal bishop from Florida, John Freeman Young, translated it into English, and it became a favorite almost immediately.
As we celebrate the coming of the Christ child, let us remember the climax of the carol--
“Christ the Savior is born!”
Wishing us all the joy and peace of the seasons of Advent and Christmas!