Over the weekend the iconic and well known comedy program, Saturday Night Live, used their “cold opening” in a memorable way. Rather than a sketch The New York Children’s Chorus sang two verses of Silent Night. It was poignant, well performed, and touching. Kudos to the SNL gang for sensitivity during a trying time.
Interestingly, the second verse brought substantially changed lyrics. Rather than “Christ our Savior is born, Christ our Savior is born” the singers repeated the phrase “sleep in heavenly peace” from the first verse.
Thought this is a day of pluralism I will not speculate as to why the lyrics were changed or who was behind it. But, it does substantially change the meaning of the song. Silent Night is not a generic holiday song like Santa Claus and Popcorn. It remembers the incarnation–the entrance of God Almighty into this world as a human. That is worth the specific lyrics the author intended.
(Apologies to Jay Sanders.)