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"Silent Night"- A Christmas Carol



"Silent Night"- A Christmas Carol

A Short Reader

Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 7 to 9
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   8.09

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    Heilige, organist, headmaster, originally, backed, beloved, unclear, priest, thus, original, version, compose, altar, manuscript, history, explanation
     content words:    Silent Night, Father Josef Mohr, On Christmas Eve, Franz Gruber, Midnight Mass, Christmas Eve, Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht, Father Mohr, John Freeman Young


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"Silent Night"- A Christmas Carol
By Joyce Furstenau
  

1     One of the most beloved Christmas songs ever composed, Silent Night, was originally written in German. An Austrian priest named Father Josef Mohr wrote the song in 1816. On Christmas Eve two years later, Mohr brought the words to Austrian headmaster and part time organist, Franz Gruber. He asked Gruber to compose a melody for his words. Silent Night was first performed at Midnight Mass that Christmas Eve in the Church of St. Nicholas in Oberndorf, Austria. The two men, backed by a guitar and the choir, stood in front of the church altar and sang "Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!"
 
2     One explanation for the song's first performance is that the church organ was broken and Father Mohr needed a guitar song for the Christmas Eve service. Others say Mohr simply wanted to introduce a new song that could be played on guitar to the congregation.

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