This week in Christian history: 'Silent Night' performance, Quaker theologian, George Whitefield born

‘Silent Night’ performed for the first time – December 24, 1818

Silent Night
A copy, circa 1860, of the Christmas song Stille Nacht, autographed by Franz Xaver Gruber (1787–1863), composer of the carol's melody. |

This week marks the anniversary of the first time that the famous Christmas carol “Silent Night” was used during a worship service.

Austrian Catholic priest Joseph Franz Mohr wrote the lyrics in 1816 while a friend of his named Franz Xaver Gruber composed the melody, performing it at a small chapel in the village of Oberndorf, near Salzburg.

According to Gruber in an 1854 account of the history of the song, the performance was met with “general approval by all” in attendance at the church.

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