Why, you ask, do I care about UNESCO, The United Nations Educational and Scientific and
Cultural Organization? They are the group responsible for promoting world peace and security
through international cooperation in education, arts, sciences and culture. They are responsible to
protect heritage sites and languages. Just recently, they declared the hymn ‘Silent Night’ to be
on the heritage list for its ‘key contribution to sustaining cultural diversity.’
It was written in 1816 by a catholic priest, Joseph Mohr and set to music in 1818. It is said that
they had guitar accompaniment because church mice had damaged the organ.
In 1914, it is the song that drew soldiers from both sides into a Christmas day peace. My mom sang it to us in Icelandic every Christmas. I give it to you now as a reminder of what this next year can be, if we all make it our own life theme.
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 Savior is born! Christ the Savior is born