Silent NightDecember 10, 2014
There is something intriguing about this song. Legend has it that the organ broke down and they needed something for the service. So a simple piece was written for guitar as a congregational song. Whatever the origins, it’s always been clear to me (even as a child) that it’s not a solo. It feels like a song that everybody is willing to drop their guard for a few moments and sing. Even those who have a lingering, doubting, belief, that this whole Jesus story is true.
Most times the key is way too high and many of us wind up straining for the “Heavenly…Peee ace”. I know that whenever I am asked to play it, I prefer giving a little start and then let the voices take over. It does not need a piano. The story of the song is told in the most powerful way by a group of gathered voices. And in my opinion, untrained ones sing it the best.
Why? Well, all is calm, all is bright. For a few fleeting moments, that is exactly what is happening. There is no overbearing theology or a thrusting damnation of Hell. No, there is simply “calm and bright”. It is something that so many of us long for, if only for a breath.
I have seen both men and women stand on a Christmas Eve with tears streaming down their faces aching for a Silent Night, a Holy Night. And most of them seem to understand what a Holy Night really means. Even when they can’t really grasp it, but then again that’s most of us. Isn’t it?
So this year, when the time comes and the song is in front of you, sing it. Let it come forth for all that you are worth. And know that…your voice…. is much indeed. For a Silent Night….. A Holy Night…is a most intriguing glimpse of how God breathes.
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