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Silent Night and its History

Standing singing Silent Night, Holy Night“ in the memorial chapel in Oberndorf on Christmas Eve with hundreds from throughout the world singing of the world’s most famous Christmas carol is something that touches the hardest of souls.

You’ll feel a chill when you join the chorus singing a song which spread from this very spot to the entire world! The local priest, Josef Mohr, wrote the words in 1816 and Franz Xavier Gruber composed the famous tune two years later. “Silent Night” spread first throughout Europe and then to the United States and the world. Near the memorial chapel, you’ll find the Gruber-Mohr memorial and an exhibit about the history of “Silent Night” in the local museum.

The pink building next to the chapel is the vicarage in which Joseph Mohr lived while serving in Oberndorf between 1817 and 1819. Oberndorf is about ½ hour by car/bus outside of Salzburg and you’ll want to take a photo before the small chapel.

Silent Night Lyrics

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

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

Silent night, holy night!
Son of God love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth

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