Monday, December 23, 2013

Silent Night, Holy Night

     As a Worship Pastor, I have worked in and led worship in a number of churches.  They have all been Baptist churches and had there own ways of looking at music and worship.  Most of them had very traditional music histories and therefore believed that all music within the church had to be done a certain way.  Typically that meant hymns being accompanied by piano and organ.  Now, when I was hired at each one of these places, I was told that the church leadership believed that the music and worship within the church needed to change.  So, I would start changing things.  I would start playing my acoustic guitar and teaching the congregation these new things called "praise and worship" songs.  For the most part they were accepted well as long as I didn't mess up their traditional hymns.  And by "mess up", they meant for me to NOT play my guitar on any of the hymns.  Because as they would tell me, "all hymns were written for the piano and organ".  Well, if you know anything about church music history, then you know that statement isn't true.  And one of my favorite examples is the Christmas hymn "Silent Night, Holy Night". 

     "Silent Night" was written in the 1800's for a  church in Austria by Father Joseph Mohr.  At the time, Father Joseph was upset because the church organ was broken and there wouldn't be any music at their Christmas Eve service.  But in the midst of his worry the words to a new song came to his mind and he began to write the words we all know so well:  "Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright..."  He then took his new lyrics to their organist who came up with the tune that we still sing to this day.  Later that night at the Christmas Eve service, "Silent Night, Holy Night" was sung for the very first time accompanied by the acoustic guitar.  And just think, if the organ had not been broken, there would have been no "Silent Night".   

     Here's a video of MPBC doing "Silent Night, Holy Night" being accompanied by acoustic guitar.  Enjoy and Merry Christmas everyone!

Worship Big!


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