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Silent Night 2020

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This year, planning for Christmas Eve stings. Because of the global pandemic, many churches are closed to in-person worship, or are limiting attendance and revising cherished traditions. Online connections are a gift, yet the internet cannot recreate what Christian people have come to love about celebrating Christmas Eve together. We will miss our crowded churches and the joyful noise of organ, choirs, brass, and bands. We'll miss the hush of candlelight as we sing Silent Night together.

But our candles still glow, and a pandemic can't stop our song. Join Christians across our region for a safely distant, yet spiritually together, “Silent Night” sing this Christmas Eve.

On December 24 at 6:30 pm, you and your household are invited to sing with us. Light a candle and stand at the end of your sidewalk, on your front porch, or in your driveway. Together—socially distant but spiritually united—we'll sing Silent Night together. We’ll be a sign for one another of unity and hope, welcoming the Christ child into the world with one voice.

Below you'll find resources to help make your Silent Night a special one:

Spread the word!

Invite your neighbors to join you in this event. Post in neighborhood social media groups or activate your phone tree. Share our Facebook event post. We'd love to see whole neighborhoods participating.

Sing together!

At 6:30 p.m., come outside your home, light your candles, and begin to sing. Perfect tunefulness not required: enthusiasm and faithfulness is all you need. Here are the lyrics to Silent Night:

Silent Night

text by Joseph Mohr, trans. J. Freeman Young

music by Franz Gruber

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;
Heav'nly hosts sing "alleluia!
Christ, the Savior, is born!
Christ, the Savior, 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.

Pray together!

After Silent Night, you might like to join in a prayer as a family or as an individual. Here are some prayers that you might use:

O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting.  Amen. (from the Books of Common Prayer used in Episcopal and Anglican traditions)

Thy Nativity, O Christ our God, hath shined the light of knowledge upon the world; for thereby they that worshipped the stars were instructed by a star to worship Thee, the Sun of Righteousness, and to know Thee, the Dayspring from on high. O Lord, glory be to Thee. (Apolytikion of Holy Nativity used in the Orthodox tradition)

Good and gracious God, on this holy night you gave us your Son, the Lord of the universe, wrapped in swaddling clothes, the Savior of all, lying in a manger. On this holy night draw us into the mystery of your love. Join our voices with the heavenly host that we may sing your glory on high. Give us a place among the shepherds that we may find the one for whom we have waited, Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, Amen. (from the Book of Worship of the Presbyterian Church USA)

Keep on singing!

Maybe "Silent Night" was only a warm-up! You might choose to continue with "Joy to the World," "Angels We Have Heard on High," or another Christmas favorite.

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