It was a few days before Christmas in 1818. A man sat in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria. The man’s name was Joseph Mohr. He was a church priest. Father Mohr was sad. The organ in the church was broken. They would have no music on Christmas Eve. Christmas Eve without music? Impossible!
Father Mohr want walking that night though the forest. It was cold. The snow was deep. The moon shone through the trees. It was silent – completely silent.
As Father Mohr walked, he started composing a poem in his head. The words came quickly and easily in the silent night. He went home and wrote down the poem.
The next day, Father Mohr went to see his friend, Franz Gruber. Mr. Gruber was a musician. He played the organ in the church. Father Mohr gave Mr. Gruber his poem. He asked, “Can you write music for the poem?” Father Mohr wanted music for guitar and two voices. Mr. Gruber answered, “Yes!” and wrote the music.
On Christmas Eve, families came to the church at midnight. Everyone was confused. Where was the music? Why didn’t Mr. Gruber play the organ?
Suddenly they heard a guitar. It was Father Mohr! Then Father Mohr and Mr. Gruber began to sing! “Silent night, holy night.” The song was beautiful. Everyone was happy. Father Mohr was happy. Mr. Gruber was happy. They had music on Christmas Eve!
Today, the song can be heard throughout the world!