Stille Nacht

"Christmas memories that never end;  the quiet silence of white snow and flickering advent candles." 

For Christmas, I had intended to write a different article on Silent Night;  ( looking at the history of the German text) but I couldn't get a thought out of my head.  I had just written a tweet for our GatheredbyGrace twitter account:  "Christmas memories that never end;  the quiet silence of white snow and flickering advent candles." 

Sometimes the softest music conveys the most powerful thoughts.  We are introduced to Silent Night as children holding candles surrounded in a mystical Candlelight Christmas service.  We sing with barely a whisper worried that we might blow out the candle.   Adults tower over us, their soft voices join the tribute to the birth of the holy child.  The Christmas carol evolved into a lullaby for the child of God.  The original melody when first composed was faster and done in 6/8 time.

My mother's grandparents were German immigrants and did not speak English.  On the evening of Christmas Day the entire clan would gather at my great grandparents.  In the dark of the evening,  the children would listen as everyone would sing Stille Nacht in German.

On Christmas in 1914, with a bitter cold and white frost the angst of a world at war paused.   Known as the  Christmas Truce of 1914, men from both sides of the War put their guns down for a few hours and crossed no-man's land to exchange Christmas greetings.  The world fell silent as soldiers joined in singing Stille Nacht.

Silent Night touches the very heart of Christmas.  It captures the essence of the Christmas story.  The World whispers, "A child is born".  For a moment in time, the world sings in hushed tones of "The Dawn of redeeming Grace".

Doug Brown

How to Find Us

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church in Iowa City

Gathered by grace. Scattered for service.

123 E Market Street
Iowa City, IA 52245