December 21, 2010

Minuit Chrétiens - O Holy Night

The music for "Cantique de Noël" was composed by Adolphe Adam in 1847.  The music was set to  a poem written by Placide Cappeau (1808-1877) entitled "Minuit Chrétiens".  Placide Cappeau was a wine merchant and a poet who had been asked by his parish priest to write a Christmas poem. 

It was translated into English by minister John Sullivan Dwight and titled "O Holy Night".  Many popular versions exist and over the years it has remained one of the most popular Christmas Carols and it is one of my favorites.

Minuits, chrétiens ~ Cantique de Noël
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         
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of Our dear Saviour's birth.
Long lay the world In sin and error pining,
'Til He appear'd 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! O, hear the angels' voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

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Lucie's Legacy
Lucie LeBlanc Consentino


Heather Rojo said...

Lucie, I learned to sing this song in sixth grade French class. I took six more years of French, mostly with the same teacher so I had learned it by heart by the time I graduated. I can still sing the French version better than the English! It is fun seeing the words written out in French again. Thanks!

Lucie LeBlanc Consentino said...

Hi Heather,

Growing up in a French-Canadian family, school and parish with a grandmother who would only speak French around us, I was singing everything in French before I sang in English. Fortunately many of the nuns were American so the taught us the Christmas Carols en Anglais ;) - fun memories aren't they?

Minuit Chrétiens was the song we all anticipated when attending Midnight Mass. It would be *the* song after listening to an hour of carols and just before Mass would begin.