O Holy Night

Nativity Window from Gloucester cathedral

Nativity Window from Gloucester cathedral

In 2013, O Holy Night was voted as the most popular Christmas carol by listeners to Classic FM radio station.  This year’s most popular carol will be chosen on Christmas day, again by vote.  I have to say I can’t imagine which carol could be better than O Holy Night.  For me it is truly uplifting.  The music, by the brilliant French composer, Adolphe Charles Adams is exquisitely beautiful, and the words, translated from the French by John Sullivan Dwight in 1855 tell the Christmas story of Christ’s birth with reverence and simplicity.  I just love it.

The run up to this Christmas has been particularly difficult for me and not at all festive, as my husband has been in hospital.  The twice daily visits have made shopping and the usual preparations impossible.  The anxiety has meant that commercialism and advertising has gone straight over my head unnoticed.  The worry has pushed all thought of baking and cooking up the usual storm way out of my mind.  But today, suddenly, I came face to face with Christmas in the foyer of the hospital.  I had popped in to buy a cup of coffee between appointments and the Gloucester Choral Society was gathered to sing carols for the visitors and patients.  The sound of their voices stopped everyone in their tracks.  Old and young sat mesmerised.  Suddenly frowns and wrinkles were smoothed and soft smiles took their place.  A young boy of about 12 who is obviously extremely ill and disabled was wheeled to the front of the small crowd and he just glowed as they sang.  I have to say my eyes filled with tears and at that moment Christmas began for me.

For those of my readers who are Christian, I would like to wish you a truly Happy Christmas.  For the many who are of other faiths or none, I would wish you peace and joy during this holiday season and a New Year filled with health, happiness and love.

Listen to this beautiful carol and read the words ~ they are magnificent.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’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 world1 rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn;

Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices!
O night divine! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O 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;

He knows our need, to our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Your King! Before him bend!

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, then ever! ever praise we!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!


Glass cabinet Nativity Crib Scene

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