December Hymn Study: O Holy Night

O Holy Night

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December is one of my favorite times of the ‘musical year’. I dearly love Christmas carols and the joy and hope that they bring to my heart. They are such a wonderful reminder of the love of Jesus. I love that I often hear them in places where you do not normally hear Christian music and I pray that they touch the hearts of those around me.

When I chose the song, ‘O Holy Night’ to study I had no idea what the story behind the hymn was or why it was written. It is an interesting story as it was written by a man who later walked away from the church and the music composed by a Jewish man who did not believe in Jesus. O Holy Night was embraced by the church in Ireland when introduced in 1847. Shortly thereafter, the church’s opinion changed and the song was denounced, before regaining popularity a decade later in the United States.

In addition to being able to read the story behind the hymn this month, I found a short YouTube video that shared the story. There are so many different versions of this song so I included links to a few below, including a fun Celtic version.  As you take time to listen to the music this month I encourage you to take a few minutes and just sit and reflect on that night. The night that in many ways was just an ordinary night but that was also one of the most extraordinary nights in history.

I broke up the copy work into six days instead of five because the lyrics to this song are a little longer than many of our hymns. In addition to our normal listening and copy work, I think that this free Christmas Star art lesson is going to be a great addition to our study. When I hear the words to O Holy Night it reminds me of the star that shone so bright that night.


Sheet Music

YouTube (Celtic)

YouTube Performance w/ Orchestra

YouTube (with Lyrics)

Story Behind the Hymn (Video)

Story Behind the Hymn

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Hymn Study Fact Sheet

O Holy Night (December Copywork)



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