In 1847. Placide Cappeau, a wine seller from southern France, was asked by the local parish priest to write a festive poem to celebrate the church organ’s renovation. Cappeau felt it should be accompanied by music, so approached his friend Adolphe Charles Adam.   

The text of the carol reflects on the birth of the Savior as well as on His life, ending with the words that all oppression shall cease because of His presence.  The last lines of the poem exclaim our response to Christ’s life: “Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we, let all within us praise His holy name”.  Indeed, this carol prompts such praise, most frequently accompanied by tears, as we bask in the light of Christ’s love and our redemption.

The full lyrics to this carol are as follows:

O Holy Night!
The stars are brightly shining
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining
Till he appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!

Fall on your knees
Oh hear the angel voices
Oh night divine
Oh night when Christ was born
Oh night divine
Oh night divine

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming
Here come the wise men from Orient land
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger
In all our trials born to be our friend

Truly He taught us to love one another
His law is love and His gospel is peace
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His name all oppression shall cease
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.

Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

Listen to a performance of “O Holy Night” by André Rieu and His Johann Strauss Orchestra as they performed the carol live in London. This video was taken from the DVD Christmas in London.

Father, we praise Your Name for giving us Your Son as our Savior and Redeemer.  Thank You that through Jesus, we are released from the bondage of sin and death and we can claim life eternal through faith in Him.  Thank You for gracing people with the ability to compose poems and write music so that we can praise You through song.  We praise You as we celebrate the birth of Your Son.

Let me know if you agree, like or want to comment. Thanks. .

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s