Enjoy this beloved classic song, “Silent Night”, sung by Josh Groban
As Christmas approaches, I think it’s important to never forget the things we take for granted. Many stories of conjecture are written about Christmas during war time. Both World War I and II shared one common thread that is little known – a time when hell was non-existent for a brief period of time, and peace on Earth reigned.
On an early, frosty Christmas Eve morning, in 1914, the English, French and Americans stood in frozen trenches of mud and blood. They quietly listened to the German soldiers singing, “Silent Night”. A more soothing sound was never heard than during the time of bombs and gunfire. A few hundred feet apart, the united forces read a sign scratched on a whitewashed board, “You no shoot, we no shoot you” and “Merry Christmas”. One by one, the opposing soldiers dug out of their trenches.
With weapons ceased, they all gathered together to sing Christmas carols – some in English, others in Latin, and some in German as well. Exchanging gifts and cigarettes, they prepared dinner to share their peace, in the name of Jesus, even though He was not recognized by some. The word spread and during the truce, some buried their comrades and also honored their fellow brothers who helped to bury young soldiers.
This Christmas truce has been covered by the media for many years and the details of what actually happened on those frontlines, varies. However, one thing is for sure – it was singing about our savior that brought peace for twenty-four hours! The lesson to be learned here is the desire for peace in every single person and especially at this time of year. Perhaps God can shine a bright spot on the darkest of moments!
Please pray for our troops that serve in harm’s way during this Christmas season. A special “thank you” to our World War I and II fathers and grandfathers! Peace and joy to all this holiday season!
The Christmas song, “Silent Night”:
St. Nicholas Church in Austria was the first congregation to hear Silent Night played by guitar by Franz Gruber in 1818. In December 1832, the Strasser family performed it at a concert in Leipzig. It was first performed in the USA in 1839 by the Rainer family at the Alexander Hamilton Monument outside Trinity Church in New York City. During this time the tune changed to the one we know and sing today!
It was translated into English in 1863 by John Freeman Young.
Here are the original lyrics written for this song:
Silent night, holy night,
Bethlehem sleeps, yet what light,
Floats around the heavenly pair;
Songs of angels fills the air.
Strains of heavenly peace.