Cantique de Noël

There was a time when people flocked into Paris at Christmas time to hear Adolphe Adam’s Cantique de Noël presented at the larger churches of the city. Today, the song is heard in almost every community throughout Christendom. It has become such a popular favorite that no collection of Christmas songs would be complete without it.

Adolphe Adam’s life ambition was to be a composer of grand opera. He received his early training in music from his father, who was a professor at the Paris Conservatory (1797-1842). The young Adam did not achieve success in writing grand opera but his comic Operas and light ballets met with success. Several of his comic operas were presented in America, the first being produced in New York City in 1939. His works are being characterized by a graceful charming style.

At the time of his death, in 1856, Adolphe Adam had been teaching composition at the Paris Conservatory for seven years. France will not soon forget him as their popular music critic and composer while the world will long remember him for, his Cantique de Noel.

Source: The Christmas Caroler’s Book, 1935

O Holy Night

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of the dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining.
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! Oh, hear the angel voices!
O night divine, the night when Christ was born;
O night, O holy night, O night divine!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
O’er the world a star is sweetly gleaming,
Now come the wise men from out of the Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus lowly manger;
In all our trials born to be our friends.
He knows our need, our weakness is no stranger,
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!
Behold your King! Before him lowly bend!

Truly He taught us to love one another,
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break, for the slave is our brother.
And in his name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! Then ever, ever praise we,
His power and glory ever more proclaim!
His power and glory ever more proclaim!