This year is the 200th year anniversary of the beloved Christmas hymn “Silent Night.”
Originally written in German by Joseph Mohr, the song has been sung in Christmas worship for two centuries all around the world.
Enjoy this story of its origins from Amazing Grace—366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions, then use our keyword suggestions below to find a beautiful background for the song in Faithlife Proclaim.
When this beloved hymn was written by two humble church leaders for their own mountain village parishioners, little did they realize how universal its influence would eventually be.
Joseph Mohr, assistant priest in the Church of St. Nicholas in the region of Tyrol, high in the beautiful Alps, and Franz Gruber, the village schoolmaster and church organist, had often talked about the fact that the perfect Christmas hymn had never been written. So Father Mohr had this goal in mind when he received word that the church organ would not function. He decided that he must write his own Christmas hymn immediately in order to have music for the special Christmas Eve mass. He did not want to disappoint his faithful flock. Upon completing the text, he took his words to Franz Gruber, who exclaimed when he saw them, “Friend Mohr, you have found it—the right song—God be praised!”
Soon Gruber completed his task of composing an appropriate tune for the new text. His simple but beautiful music blended perfectly with the spirit of Father Mohr’s words. The carol was completed in time for the Christmas Eve mass, and Father Mohr and Franz Gruber sang their new hymn to the accompaniment of Gruber’s guitar. The hymn made a deep impact upon the parishioners even as it has on succeeding generations.
When the organ repairman came to the little village church, he was impressed by a copy of the Christmas carol and decided to spread it all around the region of Tyrol. Today it is sung in all major languages of the world and is a favorite wherever songs of the Christmas message are enjoyed.
Search “Wonderful Counselor” to find this background as a lyric slide in Faithlife Proclaim.