Christmas Sheet Music – O Holy Night 2022

By | December 2, 2022

O Holy Night by Adolphe Charles Adam

starry sky

You may have a particular favourite Christmas carol or Christmas song, whether it’s some of the traditional classics that we have at music-scores or Bing Crosby, Shakin’ Steven’s or even Mariah Carey! The team here are all agreed that O Holy Night is right at the top of our list.

I decided to look up the top ten Christmas Carols on the web. O Holy Night came straight back as number one in the Google search results.

On music-scores.com we have over 60 arrangements of this beautiful carol to choose from. These range from a simple piano version to versions for a variety of different ensembles. In general the skill rating required to play these arrangements is around 5/9. However, there are some easier and harder options so we are bound to have something to suit everyone!

History of O Holy Night

In the small French town of Roquemaure in 1843 the church organ had recently been renovated. The parish priest asked Placide Cappeau, a poet and native of the town, to write a poem for Christmas to help celebrate the organ restoration. This he did and called the poem Cantique de Noël. Later the same year, Chapeau asked his Jewish friend Adolphe Adam to put his poem to music. Adam composed the music and the famous opera singer Emily Laurey performed the song in public for the first time in Roquemaure in 1847.

A few years later kin 1855, musician and Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight translated and adjusted the French poem into English. Dwight was an abolitionist and the lyrics about the saviour breaking chains and slaves being our brothers really struck home with him. Dwight renamed the carol O Holy Night and it has remained popular across the globe ever since.

O Holy Night Lyrics

English

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! O night when Christ was born.
O night, O holy night, O night divine.

Led by the light of Faith serenely beaming;
With glowing hearts by his cradle we stand:
So, led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here come the wise men from Orient land,
The King of Kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend;

He knows our need, To our weakness no stranger!
Behold your King! Before Him lowly bend!
Behold your King! your King! before him 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 pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!
His pow’r and glory, evermore proclaim!

French

Minuit, chrétiens, c’est l’heure solennelle,
Où l’Homme Dieu descendit jusqu’à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d’espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.

Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur!

De notre foi que la lumière ardente
Nous guide tous au berceau de l’Enfant,
Comme autrefois une étoile brillante
Y conduisit les chefs de l’Orient.
Le Roi des rois naît dans une humble crèche
Puissants du jour, fiers de votre grandeur,

A votre orgueil, c’est de là que Dieu prêche.
Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur.
Courbez vos fronts devant le Rédempteur.

Le Rédempteur a brisé toute entrave
La terre est libre, et le ciel est ouvert.
Il voit un frère où n’était qu’un esclave,
L’amour unit ceux qu’enchaînait le fer.
Qui lui dira notre reconnaissance,
C’est pour nous tous qu’il naît, qu’il souffre et meurt.

Peuple debout! Chante ta délivrance,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, chantons le Rédempteur!

O Holy Night in 2022

In French-speaking churches the carol is often played as the introduction to midnight mass. Many modern artists have recorded their performances of this lovely carol including Mariah Carey, Josh Groban and Celine Dion to name just a few.

The choir at Kings College Cambridge often perform O Holy Night at their Christmas carol service. Watch and listen to them on YouTube

We have a large selection of Christmas music on our site including a large number of free sheet music pieces. Take a look at challenge yourself to something new?

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