The story of ‘O Holy Night’ can be traced to a request made by a 19th century French priest. In the fall of 1847, that priest asked a French merchant named Placide Cappeau to write a Christmas poem. Cappeau’s poem was eventually shared with French composer Adolphe Adam, who quickly set the poem to music. The resulting song made its debut on Christmas Eve 1847 and has been a beloved holiday song ever since.

‘O Holy Night’

O holy night!

The stars are brightly shining,

It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!

Long lay the world in sin and error pining,

Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth!

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices

For yonder breaks a new and

glorious morn.

Fall on your knees!

O hear the angel voices!

O night divine,

O night when Christ was born.

O night divine!

O night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;

His law is love and His gospel is peace.

Bonds shall we make until we all are brothers,

and in His name all oppression shall cease.

Sweet hymns of joy in grateful

chorus raise we,

Let all within us praise His holy name.

Fall on your knees!

O hear the angel voices!

O night divine,

O night when Christ was born.

O night divine!

O night, O night divine!

Lyrics written by Placide Cappeau

Lyrics courtesy of PBS.org

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