Scripture Verse

An angel of the Lord appeared…and…said to them, Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:9–11

Introduction

portrait
John S. Dwight
(1813–1893)

Words: Pla­cide Cap­peau, 1843 (Mi­nuit, chré­tiens, c’est l’heure so­len­nelle). Trans­lat­ed from French to Eng­lish by John S. Dwight, 1855, alt.

Music: Adolphe C. Ad­am, 1843 (🔊 pdf nwc).

portrait
Adolphe C. Adam
(1803–1856)

Anecdotes

Opera sing­er Emi­ly Lau­rey pre­miered this song in Roque­maure, France, in 1847.

On Christ­mas Eve 1906, Ca­na­di­an in­vent­or Re­gi­nald A. Fes­sen­den played the song on a vi­olin in a ra­dio trans­mis­sion from Brant Rock, Mas­sa­chu­setts, to ships at sea.

Thus, O Ho­ly Night be­came the first mu­sic ev­er broad­cast ov­er the air­waves.

Lyrics

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.
Fall on your knees, O 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 a faith se­rene­ly beam­ing,
With glow­ing hearts by His cra­dle we stand.
So led by light of a star so sweet­ly gleam­ing,
Here came 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 is no stran­ger.
Behold your king; be­fore Him low­ly bend!
Behold your king; be­fore Him low­ly 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! O praise His name for­ev­er!
His pow’r and glo­ry ev­er­more pro­claim!
His pow’r and glo­ry ev­er­more pro­claim!