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On the evening of Christmas Eve 1914, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing the lyrics to Stille Nacht from their trenches and joyously joined in singing Silent Night lyrics in English.

On the 3rd Sunday of Advent, we light the Gaudete (“Rejoice”) candle of JOY. This is traditionally the rose-colored candle in an Advent wreath. Did you know that Gaudete Sunday has also been known as Rose Sunday?

While we spent the first two weeks of Advent focused on Christ’s coming, the third week is one of joy and rejoicing in anticipation of Christ’s coming again.

We also, as a Western church, tend to focus on John the Baptist’s connection with Advent.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. – Romans 15:13

For a refresher course on what Advent is, check out my advent playlist!

Suggested Reading: Advent Playlist: 25 Christmas Hymns

Advent Playlist – 25 Christmas Hymns

1. A Strange Way to Save the World

2. Angel Gabriel

3. Angels From the Realms of Glory

4. Christ is the World’s True Light

5. Come Thou Long Expected Jesus

6. The Crown of Roses

7.  E’en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come

8. Gesu Bambino

9. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

10 – I Wonder as I Wander

11 – Jesus Christ The Apple Tree

12. The King Shall Come

13. Carol of the Drum (Little Drummer Boy)

14. Mary, Did You Know?

15. O Come All Ye Faithful

16. O Come O Come Emmanuel

17. O Holy Night

18. O Little Town of Bethlehem

19. Once in Royal David’s City

20. People Look East

Day 21. Silent Night

Silent Night was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St. Nicholas Parish Church in Oberndorf, Austria. The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber to a poem (“Stille Nacht”) by a young Father Joseph Mohr.

The song is most famous for its involvement in a World War One Christmas Truce. On the evening of Christmas Eve 1914, the British soldiers heard the Germans singing Stille Nacht from their trenches and joyously joined in singing Silent Night in English. What followed the next morning was a story for the books – the soldiers cautiously stepped out from the trenches and wished each other a Merry Christmas. Imagine! The Pope had asked for a ceasefire on Christmas Day and although command on both sides had not agreed to one, the men in the trenches took the initiative and we have the story of the World War One Christmas Truce.

Silent Night Lyrics –

Silent night! Holy night!
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin mother and child!
Holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace!
Sleep in heavenly peace!

Silent night! Holy night!
Shepherds quake at the sight!
Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!
Christ the Saviour is born!
Christ the Saviour is born!

Silent night! Holy night!
Son of God, love’s pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth!
Jesus, Lord, at thy birth!


Scripture Reading for Day 21 of Advent –

Matthew 2:10-11

When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Isaiah 35:1-10

The wilderness and the dry land shall be glad;

the desert shall rejoice and blossom like the crocus;

it shall blossom abundantly

and rejoice with joy and singing.

The glory of Lebanon shall be given to it,

the majesty of Carmel and Sharon.

They shall see the glory of the Lord,

the majesty of our God.

Strengthen the weak hands,

and make firm the feeble knees.

Say to those who have an anxious heart,

“Be strong; fear not!

Behold, your God

will come with vengeance,

with the recompense of God.

He will come and save you.”

Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened,

and the ears of the deaf unstopped;

then shall the lame man leap like a deer,

and the tongue of the mute sing for joy.

For waters break forth in the wilderness,

and streams in the desert;

the burning sand shall become a pool,

and the thirsty ground springs of water;

in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down,

the grass shall become reeds and rushes.

And a highway shall be there,

and it shall be called the Way of Holiness;

the unclean shall not pass over it.

It shall belong to those who walk on the way;

even if they are fools, they shall not go astray.

No lion shall be there,

nor shall any ravenous beast come up on it;

they shall not be found there,

but the redeemed shall walk there.

And the ransomed of the Lord shall return

and come to Zion with singing;

everlasting joy shall be upon their heads;

they shall obtain gladness and joy,

and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Advent Playlist – Days 22 to 25

22. Sweet Little Jesus Boy

23. There Stood in Heaven a Linden Tree

24. Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day

25. Whence is That Goodly Fragrance Flowing?

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What is your favorite Christmas Hymn or way to celebrate Advent?

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The Christmas Truce of 1914. Silent Night Christmas Hymn.