THE STORY BEHIND THE CAROL
December 27, 2018 | Pastor's Corner
This year I received a Christmas card from the Curator of the 1903 Kimball Pipe Organ, Bill Kurzdorfer. It tells the story about the origins of the famous Christmas Carol we all know, Silent Night.
Josef Mohr who was the pastor of the Church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, near Salzburg, Austria chose to take the long way home after the Christmas Eve program in 1818. His route took him up over a hill overlooking the village.
Reveling in the silence of the wintry night, he remembered a poem he had written. He decided those words might make a good carol for his congregation. He went to see the church organist, Franz Gruber, who had only a few hours to come up with a melody.
On Christmas Eve, the little Oberndorf congregation heard Gruber and Mohr play their new carol. It spread across northern Europe, and in 1834, singers performed Silent Night for King Frederick William IV of Prussia, who then ordered his cathedral choir to sing it every Christmas Eve. The carol is now sung in more than 300 different languages around the world.
“Christ the Savior is Born!” Happy New Year.