Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is brightTranslator (sts. 2, 4): Anonymous; Author: Joseph Mohr; Translator (Sts. 1, 3): John Freeman Young
Tune: STILLE NACHT
Published in 498 hymnals
Printable scores: PDF, SibeliusAudio files: MIDI
1 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.
2 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!”
3 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.
4 Silent night, holy night!
Wondrous star, lend thy light;
with the angels let us sing
Alleluia to our King:
Christ the Savior is born; Christ the Savior is born.
1 Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!
Alles schläft, einsam wacht
nur das traute, hochheilige Paar.
Holder Knabe im lockigen Haar,
schlaf in himmlischer Ruh,
schlaf in himmlischer Ruh!
1 ¡Noche de paz, noche de amor!
Todo duerme en derredor,
entre los astros que esparcen su luz,
bella, anunciando al niñito Jesús,
brilla la estrella de paz,
brilla la estrella de paz.
Source: Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #122
|First Line:||Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright|
|Title:||Silent Night, Holy Night|
|German Title:||Stille Nacht|
|Translator (sts. 2, 4):||Anonymous|
|Translator (Sts. 1, 3):||John Freeman Young|
|Place of Origin:||Germany|
all st. = Luke 2:1-20
With a mixture of reflection and awe, the writer evokes the night of Christ's birth, recalling not only the birth but also its meaning: the Christ who is born in Bethlehem is our Savior and our King!
Parish priest Joseph Mohr (b. Salzburg, Austria, 1792; d. Wagrein, Austria, 1848) wrote the original German text in six stanzas in Oberndorf, Austria, on December 24, 1818, for St. Nicholas's Church. Because the church organ had broken down that day, Mohr and his parish organist, Franz Gruber (b. Unterweizberg, near Hochburg, Austria, 1787; d. Hallein, near Salzburg, Austria, 1863), composed this beloved hymn to be accompanied on guitar for the Christmas Eve service.
After organ repairman Karl Mauracher heard the hymn, he took the manuscript to the Tyrol region. Because it was sung by various Tyrol folk groups (including the touring Strasser "sisters" and the Rainer family), "Silent Night" became known as a “Tyrolean carol.” The hymn's widespread use enhanced its popularity throughout Europe and North America during the middle nineteenth century. Without attributing the hymn's composition to Mohr and Gruber, the Leipzig Katholisches Gesang-und Gebetbuch first published the hymn in 1838; because of the efforts of Gruber's grandson, the author and composer were soon recognized.
Author Joseph Mohr was born into a humble family–his mother was a seamstress and his father, an army musketeer. A choirboy in Salzburg Cathedral as a youth, Mohr studied at Salzburg University and was ordained in the Roman Catholic Church in 1815. Mohr was a priest in various churches near Salzburg, including St. Nicholas Church. He spent his later years in Hintersee and Wagrein.
Various English translations abound, some of which are rather free paraphrases. The familiar stanzas 1, 3, and 4 in the Psalter Hymnal come from the popular English translation by John F. Young, first published in John C. Hollister's Sunday School Service and Tune Book (1863). Henrietta Ten Harmsel (PHH 61) wrote stanza 2 and made other alterations in the text in 1984 to "stress the paradoxes and deeper meanings of Christmas."
Candlelight worship services on Christmas Eve; church school programs; "carols from many lands" choral services.
--Psalter Hymnal Handbook
Bulletin Score (melody only)
On December 24, 1818, Parish priest Joseph Mohr wrote six stanzas of a poem in Oberndorf, Austria. Since it was first penned by Joseph Mohr, this text has been translated into at least 175 languages, and has undergone many different English translations, many of which are rather free paraphrases. John Freeman Young’s 1859 translation is the most familiar and often used. Most hymnals include three verses, while some, such as the United Methodist Hymnal and the Baptist Hymnal 2008 add a fourth that begins, “Silent night, holy night! Wondrous star, lend thy light….” Some hymnals, like the Presbyterian Hymnal and Trinity Hymnal, include the German text.
Since the hymn was written for guitar, it would be quite fitting to use a light accompaniment, whether that be guitar, piano, flute, recorder, or a softer organ registration. If you’re looking for something a bit different, Jeanine Noyes has a fabulous upbeat guitar-driven version with drums and violin. One possibility for performing this piece with a choir or small ensemble, should you want to add variety, is to sing Daniel Kantor’s “Night of Silence,” a beautiful piece that can be sung simultaneously with “Silent Night.” This choral combination would be very fitting for a Christmas Eve service, since, as the composer says, it’s “an Advent piece that really bridges the transition from Advent into Christmas, so it’s that really vulnerable transition state between darkness and light” (Maria Baca, “StarTribune.com, December 17, 2003”).
This hymn is most often sung on Christmas Eve, especially during a Candlelight service. Because of the peaceful nature of the hymn, and the description of Christ as “pure light” in the third stanza, it is a beautiful hymn to sing during the lighting of candles, a gesture symbolizing the passing of Christ’s light and peace to one another. It is also fitting to sing after the reading of the nativity story, but could, like many Christmas hymns, work in any point of the service.
Laura de Jong, Hymnary.org
In the small, quiet town of Oberndorf, Austria, on a snowy Christmas Eve, a priest and an organist wrote what is now the most beloved Christmas carol world-wide. Stories abound as to the exact circumstances of the hymns origin, and there are societies dedicated to the task of protecting the authentic hymn text and story. If you ever visit Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland in Frankenmuth, Michigan, you can visit a replica of the Silent Night Chapel. Movies and operas revolve around the hymn, and almost every recording artist that has ever made a Christmas album has recorded it. In a sense, this spreading of the Word is a joy. But these honors should also make us wary. Paul Westermeyer writes, “Partly because of its popularity, STILLE NACHT can easily point to itself rather than beyond itself to the Word” (Let the People Sing, 153). It is important, then, to not simply listen to what we might consider a quaint, nostalgia-evoking carol, but to sing out the depth of these words. For the “dawn of redeeming grace” is something far greater and grander than any song we could ever write.
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|Instances (46)||First Line||Text Title||Refrain First Line||Authors||Composers||Meter||Scripture||Tune Title||Tune Key||Incipit||Languages||Publication Date|
|African American Heritage Hymnal #211||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr, 1792-1849; John F. Young, 1820-1885||Franz X. Gruber, 1787-1863||126.96.36.199.6.6||Matthew 2:2||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; English||2001|
|Baptist Hymnal 1991 #91||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr||Franz Gruber||Irregular||Luke 2:7||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||1991|
|Baptist Hymnal 2008 #206||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr; John Freeman Young; Anonymous||Franz Grüber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||2008|
|Celebrating Grace Hymnal #134||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr; John Freeman Young; Anonymous||Franz Grüber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||2010|
|Celebration Hymnal #253||Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Franz Grüber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||1997|
|Chalice Hymnal #145||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr; John F. Young||Franz Gruber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||1995|
|Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #60||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night||Franz Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848; John F. Young, 1820-85||Franz X. Gruber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||1993|
|Christmas Favorites #14||Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright||Silent Night! Holy Night!||[Silent night, holy night]||2000|
|Church Family Worship #648||Silent night! Holy night!||Irregular||1988|
|Church Hymnal, Fifth Edition #182||Silent night! Holy night!||2000|
|Common Praise #119||Silent night! Holy night! (Chiyamaun atipiskach) (Saltexa ganutłex)||Silent Night||Pauline Alfred (1938-); Joseph Mohr (1792-1848); Audrey Wilson (1939-); John Freeman Young (1820-1885); Joseph Guanish (1931-)||Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863); Carl H. Reinecke (1824-1910)||Irregular||Luke 1:68-79; Luke 2:1-20; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6; Luke 1:68-79; Luke 2:1-20; 2 Corinthians 4:1-6||STILLE NACHT||German; English||1998|
|Complete Anglican Hymns Old & New #610||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent night! Holy night!||2000|
|Complete Mission Praise #597||Silent night! Holy night!||Irregular||2000|
|Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #140||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent Night||F. J. Mohr, 1792-1848; J. F. Young, 1820-85||F. X. Gruber, 1787-1863||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; English||1996|
|Evangelical Lutheran Worship #281||Stille nacht, heilige Nacht! (Silent night, holy night)||John F. Young, 1820-1885; Joseph Mohr, 1792-1849||Franz Gruber, 1787-1863||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; German, English||2006|
|Gather Comprehensive #352||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr, 1792-1849; John F. Young, 1820-1885||Franz X. Gruber, 1787-1863||188.8.131.52.6.6||Luke 2:6-14||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; English||1994|
|Gather Comprehensive, Second Edition #371||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr, 1792-1849; John F. Young, 1820-1885||Franz X. Gruber, 1787-1863||184.108.40.206.6.6||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; English||2004|
|Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #122||Silent night, holy night!||Silent Night, Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr; John Freeman Young; Jane Montgomery Campbell||Franz Xaver Gruber||Irregular||Matthew 1:23; Matthew 2:9-10; Luke 1:77-79; Luke 2:6-20||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English; German; Spanish; Korean||2013|
|Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #111||Silent night, holy night||Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848; John Freeman Young, 1820-1885||Franz Xaver Gruber, 1787-1863; Carl H. Reinecke, 1824-1910||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||1985|
|Hymns for Today's Church (2nd ed.) #95||Silent night! holy night!||J. Möhr (1792-1848); J. F. Young (1820-1885)||F. X. Gruber (1787-1863)||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||1987|
|Hymns from the Four Winds: A Collection of Asian American Hymns #51||Silent night! holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr||Tsung-hsien Yang||Matthew 2:1-2; Luke 2:8-14||IO-NÂ-KOA||C Major||55533535U1||English||1983|
|Hymns of Faith #122||Silent night! holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr; John F. Young||Franz Grüber||Luke 2:7-14; Luke 2:16; Luke 2:30||[Silent night! holy night!]||B Flat Major||1980|
|Hymns Old and New: New Anglican #444||Silent night! Holy night!||Irregular||1996|
|Lead Me, Guide Me (2nd ed.) #244||Silent night, holy night!||Silent Night||Joseph Mohr, 1792-1849; John F. Young, 1820-1885||Franz X. Gruber, 1787-1863||220.127.116.11.6.6||Luke 2:6-14||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||2012|
|Lift Every Voice and Sing II: an African American hymnal #26||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr (1792-1848)||Franz Gruber (1787-1863); Horace Clarence Boyer (b. 1935)||[Silent night, holy night]||B Flat Major||English||1993|
|Lift Up Your Hearts: psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs #85||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night||John F. Young; Joseph Mohr||Franz Gruber||Luke 2:1-20||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||2013|
|Lutheran Service Book #363||Silent night, holy night!||Silent Night, Holy Night||Franz Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848; John F. Young, 1820-85; Federico Fliedner, 1845-1901||Franz Xaver Gruber, 1787-1863||18.104.22.168.6.6||Luke 2:7-16; Colossians 1:13||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English; German; Spanish||2006|
|Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #60||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Joseph Mohr; John Freeman Young||Franz Xaver Gruber||Irregular||Luke 2:5-20||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English; German||1990|
|Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #344||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr; Henrietta Ten Harmsel; John F Young||Franz Gruber||Irregular||Matthew 2:1-11; Matthew 2:11; Matthew 2||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||1987|
|Rejoice in the Lord #216||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent Night!||Joseph Mohr; Anonymous||F. Gruber||Irregular||SILENT NIGHT (STILLE NACHT)||B Flat Major||English||1985|
|Revival Hymns and Choruses #146||Silent Night! Holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848; John F. Young, 1820-1885||Franz Gruber, 1787-1863||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||1982|
|Seventh-day Adventist Hymnal #143||Silent night, holy night||STILLE NACHT||1985|
|Sing Glory: Hymns, Psalms and Songs for a New Century #362||Silent night! Holy night!||Irregular||1999|
|Sing Joyfully #189||Silent night! holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr||Franz Grüber||[Silent night! holy night!]||B Flat Major||English||1989|
|The Christian Life Hymnal #89||Silent night! Holy night!||Stille Nacht||2006|
|The Covenant Hymnal: a worshipbook #172||Silent night! holy night!||Silent Night, Holy Night||John F. Young, 1820-1885; Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848||Franz Gruber, 1787-1863||Irregular||Luke 2:8-14||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||1996|
|The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration #147||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night! Holy Night!||John F. Young; Joseph Mohr||Franz Gruber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||1986|
|The New Century Hymnal #134||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Stephen Desha; Federico Fliedner; Anon.; Joseph Mohr; John F. Young||Franz Gruber||Irregular||Luke 2:1-20||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; English, German, Hawaiian||1995|
|The United Methodist Hymnal #239||Silent night, holy night||Silent Night, Holy Night||Anon.; John F. Young; Joseph Mohr||Franz Gruber||Irregular||Luke 2:6-20||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English; Latin||1989|
|The Worshiping Church #164||Silent night! holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Joseph Mohr; John F. Young||Franz Gruber; Donald P. Hustad||Irregular||Luke 2:6-20||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||1990|
|Together in Song: Australian Hymn Book II #311||Silent night! Holy night!||Irregular||1999|
|Top 500 Baptist Hymns #37||Silent night, holy night||Stille Nacht||2013|
|Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #210||Silent night! Holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||Jospeh Mohr||Franz Gruber||Irregular||Luke 2:8-17||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||English||1990|
|Voices United: The Hymn and Worship Book of The United Church of Canada #67||Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht! (Silent night, Holy night) (Ô nuit de foi! Sainte nuit!)||Silent Night, Holy Night (Stille Nacht)||John Freeman Young; Joseph Mohr; Armand Bail||Franz Xavier Gruber||Irregular||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||German; English; French||1996|
|Worship and Rejoice #186||Silent night! holy night!||Silent Night! Holy Night!||John F. Young, 1820-1885; Joseph Mohr, 1792-1848||Franz Gruber, 1787-1863||Irregular||Galatians 4:4; John 1:9; Luke 2:1-20; Psalm 46:10||STILLE NACHT||B Flat Major||2001|
|Worship in Song: A Friends Hymnal #90||Silent night! Holy night! (¡Noche de paz, noche de amor!, Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht!)||STILLE NACHT||German; English; Spanish||1996|