December 18, 2021
By Kimmy Foulds
May the calming melody of “Silent Night” tenderly sooth our souls throughout the renewed holiday weeks.
Shining across trials to hope and understanding for culture unity, this historical and popular world-renowned ballad originated from a heart-felt poem written by Austrian Joseph Mohr in 1816.
As a young 26‐year‐old Catholic priest, Mohr composed the humble verses for his congregation in the small sloping town of Mariapfarr to embrace their faith in God with steadfast care and Fatherly love during the traumatized era of hunger and poverty.
Mohr knew he and his village’s heritage were being tested to become true and trusted amid dismay and chaos. The insightful story that sparked Mohr’s beloved brightness in his “Silent Night” handwritten words was during a Winter’s stroll when he was mesmerized how peaceful the village was despite anxiety and disillusionment that engulfed the quaint townlet.
In the Summer of 1817, Mohr moved to Oberndorf, Austria as an assistant priest at St. Nicholas parish where he became great friends with a local schoolteacher and musician, Franz Gruber. Within a few months as Mohr and Gruber collaborated on “Silent Night,” the famous and precious hymn was born from Mohr’s poem into Gruber’s music.
Gruber’s harmony portrayed the daily landscape of Mohr’s congregation, who lived and worked along the Salzach River in Oberndorf. Hence, the dynamic creative style honored the ship workers and sounds of the water connected to serenity, patience, contentment and the meanings of their Fatherly faith in God.
On Christmas Eve of 1818, the two men performed the new Christmas carol, “Silent Night,” in the beautiful chapel of Oberndorf as Gruber strummed a small guitar. This esteemed guitar has been sheltered during wars and prominently displayed since, in taverns and museums.
“Silent Night” classical rhythm and admiration of the brilliant and moving holiday song has been cherished for all the world’s glory and celebrations. Translated in over 140 languages, recorded and sung by many astounding singers, my favorite is the version by Bing Crosby from 1935 with adoring, utmost sentimental treasured memories.
May we all relish plenty of days filled with laughter and joy, new beginnings with gracious happiness and blessed health; and every “Silent Night” be peaceful.
Reflect, from sunrise to sunset.
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Graciously thanking everyone with grateful appreciation expressed.
Looking forward to virtually meeting and getting to know you!