Silent Night, Holy Night

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.

The Christmas Gospel by St. Luke

Switzerland 1960.  St. Luke with the Bull (of the Four Evangelists).

France 1982.  Census of the Population.

St. Luke Factum est autem in diebus illis, 
exiit edictum a Caesare Augusto 
ut describeretur universus orbis

Haec descriptio prima facta est 
a praeside Syriae Cyrino: 
et ibant omnes ut profeterentur 
singuli in suam civitatem.

And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Csar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.  This taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.  

And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

Palestine 2000.  Maximum Card showing the Star of Bethlehem.

Ascendit autem et Ioseph a Galilaea de civitate 
Nazareth in Iudaeam, in civitatem David, qua 
vocatur Bethlehem,: eo quod, esset de domo et familia David
ut profiretur cum Maria desponsata 
sibi uxore preagnante.

And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Juda, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem (because he was of the house and lineage of David), 

to be taxed with Mary, his espoused wife, being great with child.

Factum est autem, cum essent ibi, 
impleti sunt dies ud pareret.
Et peperit filium suum primogenitum, 
et pannis eum involvit, 
et reclinavit eum in preaesepio: 
quia non erat eid locus in diversorio.
Et pastores erant in regione eadem vigilantes, et custodientes vigilias noctis super gregem suum.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she would be delivered. 

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.  

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.  

Et ecce angelus Domini stetit iuxta illos, 
et claritas Dei circumfulsit illos, 
et timuerunt timore magno.
Et dixit illis angelus:  Nolite timere:  
ecce enim evangelizo vobis gaudium 
magnum, quod erit omni populo;

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them:  and they were sore afraid.  

And the angel said unto them,

USA2000.  Madonna and Child. Painting by Vivarini.

quia natus est vobis hodie Salvator, 
qui est Christus Dominus, 
in civitate David.
Et hoc vobis signum:  
Invenietis infantem pannis involutum, 
et positum in praesepio.
Et subito facta est cum angelo multitudo 
militiae caelestis laudantium Deum, 
et dicentium:

"Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.  

And this shall be a sign unto you;  ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger."

Switzerland 1945.  Armistice Issues after WWII, showing the Peace Dove and the quotation from the Bible's Christmas Gospel.

Gloria in altissimis Deo, 
Et in terra
pax hominibus bonae voluntatis.
Et factum est, ut discesserunt ab eis angeli in caelum: 
pastores loquebantur ad invicem:  
Transeamus usque Bethlehem, et videamus hoc verbum, 
quod factum est, quod Dominus ostendit nobis.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying:  "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another:  "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us."

Romania 1969.  Frescoes from Voronet Monastery.  The Holy Child in Manger. England 1967.  "The Adoration of the Shepherds".  (School of Sevilla). Romania 1971.  Frescoe from Moldovita Monastery.  "Angel and the three Kings".
Et venerunt festinantes:  
et invenerunt Mariam, et Ioseph, 
et infantem positum in praesepio.
Videntes autemcognoverunt de verbo, 
quod dictum erat illis de puero hoc.
Et omnes qui audierunt, 
mirati sunt et de his quae dicta erant 
a pastoribus ad ipsos.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.  

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.  

And all they had heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.  

Maria autem conservabat omnia verba haec, 
conferens in corde suo.
Et reversi sunt pastores glorificantes et laudantes 
Deum in omnibus quae audierant et viderant, 
sicut dictum est ad illos.

But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.  

And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them.

Texts:  


First published December 1999. Last revised  12 jun 2004 
Copyright 1999 by Ann Mette Heindorff
All Rights Reserved

Homepage Danish Christmas Seals

Homepage Heindorffhus