Waiting for a King, when will he come? The season of Advent was established in the year 547 as a time for Christians to prepare their hearts, their minds and their bodies for the celebration of Christ’s birth. Are you ready?
Tonight we celebrate the Holiest of Nights – Christmas Eve. While many think of tinsel and colorful blinking lights, my favorite decoration in our home at Christmas is the Nativity. The Christmas Nativity scene joins together the Holy Family (Mary, Joseph, the baby Jesus), shepherds, angels, and on Epiphany, the Wise Men as the nativity figures. In the early twelfth century, the word crèche was used to describe the birthplace of Christ. The term was coined after Saint Francis of Assisi celebrated Midnight Mass in a stable where men and animals reenacted the Christmas story. The crèche, derived from the German word krippe or crib, refers to the animals’ manger in which Christ was born. It later became known as the place of the Nativity, or the Nativity. I hope you will choose a Nativity set to display in your home that will become a family tradition to set up each year. Nativities are also a witness and reminder of the true meaning of Christmas. There is no Christmas without Christ and the remembrance of his Holy birth. Enjoy the true meaning of CHRISTmas!
Many of us have are favorite Christmas song or carol; do you know the history behind that favorite tune? One of my favorites is the Christmas carol, Silent Night; it written in 1818 by an Austrian assistant priest Joseph Mohr. He was told the day before Christmas that the church organ was broken and would not be repaired in time for Christmas Day. Saddened, he sat down to write three stanzas that could be sung by choir to guitar music. “Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht” was heard for the first time at that Midnight Mass in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria. The congregation listened as the voices of the Fr. Joseph Mohr and the choir director, Franz Xaver Gruber, rang through the church to the accompaniment of Fr. Mohr’s guitar. Today the Silent Night Memorial Chapel stands on the site of the original St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria. Silent Night was first performed in the United States in 1839 at Trinity Church in New York City by an Austrian family singing group. Silent Night, Holy Night is sung in more than 180 languages by millions of people. Tonight I will be standing and singing “Silent Night, Holy Night“ to candlelight and join with millions of others throughout the world singing one of the world’s most famous Christmas carols that touches the hardest of souls.
“Silent night, holy night!
All is calm, all is bright.
Round yon Virgin, Mother and Child.
Holy infant so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace,
Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight.
Glories stream from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia,
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born.
Silent night, holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light.
Radiant beams from Thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.
Jesus Lord, at Thy birth.”
Merry Christmas, Everyone!
Vickie Rhodehamel is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves Daily Advocate readers weekly with her Arcanum community column. She can be reached by calling 937-692-6188, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Viewpoints expressed in these opinion pieces are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.