OF ALL the Christmas carols, ‘Cantique de Noël’ or ‘O Holy Night’ is perhaps one of the most loved.
For me, it’s the only one I really enjoy.
It has a soaring melody, a mood of hopeful anticipation and an unforgettable finish.
There are, however, two things that are impossible about this song.
The first is the impossibility of everyone hitting the super high note – try, though, as they might.
The second impossibility is that of missing a very clear, and wonderful, extrapolation of the gospel message.
Through the course of three verses we sing first of the birth of “the dear Saviour”, with all its hopefulness and bright joy.
At the sight of the “new and glorious morn”, we are commanded to fall on our knees – that is the gravity of this event.
In the second verse, the Saviour is introduced as the King of kings.
This king is both the greatest of kings and the one who shows a close knowledge of, and friendship to, us as “our weakness is no stranger” and “in all our trials born to be our friends”.
This King is also the one to whom we must “before him lowly bend”.
Finally, from this one who is born our King and Saviour we are taught how to love one another, from a law of love and a gospel of peace.
And what can be said once we know what it is to love one another?
“Christ is the Lord!
Then ever, ever praise we, His power and glory ever more proclaim!”
With numerous rerecordings, favoured placement at carols nights and frequent Christmas-time radio play, ‘O Holy Night’
brings us face to face with the God who came to us, the God who brings hope and life, the God who teaches us how to love.
Whenever we fear that the spirit of Christmas has been lost, we encounter it here, very obviously, amongst us in the Christmas season.
As Paul reminds us in Philippians 1:15-18, it doesn’t matter the manner in which the good news is spoken.
What matters is that this good news is shared.
First printed in New Times
Photo : Graphic by Ilker