It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 200 years since the first performance of the world’s most beloved Christmas carol, Silent Night.
Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht was first composed in 1818 by Franz Gruber to lyrics written by Joseph Mohr. The song was first performed at St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria on Christmas Eve of 1818.
Joseph Mohr, who was a young priest, had written the words to the song in his hometown near Salzburg. Franz Xaver Gruber, a schoolmaster and organist, was invited by Mohr to compose the melody.
Their performance was first accompanied not by an organ but with a guitar. Mohr and Gruber performed together for the Mass on Christmas Eve 1818. Today, Silent Night has been performed more than any other carol.
The 200th anniversary of the composition of Stille Nacht, known to the English-speaking world as Silent Night, will take place all throughout 2018.
For more information about Silent Night, visit www.austria.info.