Silent Night

This beautiful Christmas carol originated in Austria, in the small town of Oberndorf bei Salzburg, where it was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber set to lyrics by Joseph Mohr. The year of composition has been given as 1818–almost exactly 200 years ago. Silent Night has been recorded by a large number of singers and performers , and in 2011 was declared an expression of “intangible cultural heritage” by UNESCO.

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The Little Drummer Boy

The Little Drummer Boy was written by Katherine Kennicott Davis in 1941. Davis was a school teacher, pianist and classical music composer. Born in St. Joseph, Missouri in 1892, she attended Wellesley College and the New England Conservatory of Music; she taught music at the Concord Academy in Concord, Massachusetts, and at the Shady Hill School for Girls in Philadelphia.

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The True Meaning of Christmas

The angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” But she was much perplexed by his words and pondered what sort of greeting this might be.

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Bethlehem Christmas

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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Palestinians marked the occasion of Christmas Eve on Saturday morning in the southern occupied West Bank town of Bethlehem, which is traditionally held as the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

A parade lead by the Latin Patriarch of Palestine, Jordan, and the Holy Land Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, who is also the Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate in Jerusalem, are set to arrive in Bethlehem in the afternoon and will be officially received at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem’s Manger Square.

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas and Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah are also expected to arrive in Bethlehem later Saturday to partake in Midnight Mass.

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