Sometimes, a song moves you so much that words seem to get in the way of its powerful meaning. O Holy Night, which has been sung beautifully by countless artists and choirs, is one of those songs. In fact, when I first created the Christmas Countdown during Thanksgiving weekend, I had it listed as my number two choice. It was only this morning that I switched numbers 3 and 2, particularly for historical purposes. (More on that tomorrow–Christmas Eve!)
Songs 3 and 2, though, are so very similar in the memories they stir of evenings with my mother and father when I was young, when I lived in my cabins when I was a bit older, and now when we drive home from Christmas Eve gatherings with friends and their families. It reminds me of Christmas Eve services held at midnight, both those that I have attended in person and those that have been broadcast on television as Amy and I finish our last-minute wrapping of gifts for our children. O Holy Night stills my world and aligns within me the spiritual meaning of Christmas with all things pure. It is one of the holiest songs in my life.
Perhaps it is the universal stillness that comes after all the shopping is done, where nothing more can be bought; we are given the opportunity to discard the hustle and bustle of the shopping frenzy and turn our thoughts to the stillness of the night, of the promise of a celebratory dawn, a rejoicing of life and love in ways that no material present can ever provide us.
Enjoy this performance of O Holy Night. Please feel free to share your favorite version…there are so many!