The Story Behind “O Holy Night”

(A re-post from a blog post a couple of years ago)
There are several Christmas carols that we love to sing during the Christmas season and all of them touch our hearts. leading up to Christmas, I am going to post a few of the stories behind the carols.
God uses all people. We know that is true but in reality, at times, it’s difficult to comprehend. An example is one of our favorite Christmas carols… God used a man who wasn’t even active in church and a Jewish man.. to give us one of our favorite Christmas carols.
It was 1847. A man in a small French town was asked by the Priest to write a poem for the Christmas Eve service. Using the gospel of Luke as his guide, he imagined being present the night the Christ child was born. This thought inspired him and he wrote a poem that he entitled, “Cantique De Noel.”
He thought his poem needed music so, he asked a friend of his who was Jewish, to put the poem to music. So… a Jewish man is being asked to provide music for a poem about the birth of Jesus. He did and the song was performed for the first time at the Christmas Eve service.
The response to the song was such that it was sung for years until it was banned by the church because the man who supplied the music became a socialist. Halfway around the globe, in the United States, the song was discovered by another Minister who was a strong abolitionist. He changed the title to an English title and the song caught on.. especially in the north.
Years later, in 1906, Reginald Fessenden, a University professor in Pittsburgh did something that until then was felt impossible… He spoke into a microphone and his voice was heard by thousands. He read the Christmas story from the gospel of Luke and then.. on this historic occasion, he took his violin and played a violin solo that was heard by thousands of people. The song they heard on that historic night is a song that touches our hearts every time we hear it.. It is…
“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 appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

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