O holy night, the stars are brightly shining

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining. John Sullivan Dwight* (1813-1893), from the French of Placide Cappeau* (1808-1877). This is a translation of Placide Cappeau’s Christmas hymn, ‘Minuit, chrétiens, c’est l’heure solennelle’*. It dates from 1855. An edition with French and German texts only was published in England in 1852; another (n.d., with English words by C.L. Kenney) was one of many published in England and France. In the USA ‘O holy night’ appeared in the Plymouth Sunday-School Hymnal (Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1892), and in a number of Roman Catholic hymnals, such as the St Basil’s Hymnal (Chicago, 1918) and the St Joseph’s Hymnal (Nazareth, Michigan, 1930). It had three...

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