It is a cold Christmas Eve morning in 1818.
As you look across the mountains you will see the local vicar Father Joseph Mohr (1792-1848), winding his way along the path to the village of Arndorf – to visit his friend Franz Gruber (1787-1863).
Mohr is taking with him a poem that he had written some two years earlier in 1816. He desperately needs a carol for the midnight mass that evening - that is now only a few hours away.
He hopes his friend, Gruber, who is the church’s choirmaster and organist - can set his poem to music.
Gruber looks at it and that afternoon composes a melody for Mohr’s poem.
However they can’t play the carol on the local organ because mice had eaten the bellows.
So Gruber composes the music for guitar accompaniment.
And so a few hours after finishing the composition, Gruber and Mohr perform their new song in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf.
And that evening, the sounds of a brand new carol breaks the “Silent Night” of the mountain village of Oberndorf.
Is that the true story of the origins of the world famous carol – Silent Night or is it fiction?
Well - actually it is a mixture.
It is fact that Joseph Mohr did write the words in 1816.
It is fact that Franz Gruber did write the music on Christmas Eve in 1818. ...
Continue reading this sermon illustration (Free with PRO)
Related Text Illustrations
Contributed by Melvin Newland on Nov 6, 2001
Wally was a 7th grade student who was bigger than any of the other students in his Sunday school class. His mother had been an alcoholic when he was born, & as a result, Wally just did not have all the mental capabilities that the rest of his classmates had. But somehow he managed to get ...read more
Contributed by Jim Kane on Dec 3, 2001
I believe that a picture of Jesus’ birth has been painted throughout the years of a quiet and calm night in which everything was still and hushed. I don’t think so. Let’s think about if for a moment. What if every man in this country had to go back to his hometown on January 31, 2010 and register ...read more
Contributed by Aaron Burgess on Dec 29, 2001
Frank Shaut Jr. told me that he arranged for him and his wife Heather to honeymoon in the beautiful Poconos in Pennsylvania. The town nearest the Poconos is a small village Bethlehem, PA. And so Frank called to reserve a room but he was told that the only hotel in Bethlehem, PA was full for a ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Nov 24, 2002
THE LIGHT OF THE CHRISTMAS STAR In New York’s Hayden Planetarium a special Christmas holiday show was enhanced by an added feature. A giant lollipop tree was projected onto the planetarium dome, surrounded by a horizon filled with brilliantly colored toys which came to life and cavorted to the ...read more
Contributed by Sermoncentral on Dec 10, 2002
On of the standard Christmas stories at my in-laws is the gift that my brother-in-law received one Christmas. All of the grandparents had driven in on Christmas day and they were gathered in the den unwrapping presents. At my family get-togethers we all dive right in an open our presents ...read more