What began as a celebration of the 100th anniversary of the famous Christmas truce of World War I, has become a global campaign resulting in an album (Silent Night Carols), soccer stadiums filled with hundreds of thousands of carolers and now a new single from "Britain's Got Talent" winner Paul Potts with sales from the single supporting Syrian refugees.
Commemorating the Christmas truce and remarkable period of peace, Integrity Music released the album Silent Night Carols, which features "Silent Night (Christ The Savior Is Born)," a new version of the classic carol penned by Franz Gruber in 1818, that prompted the 1914 event. It was hearing this familiar carol sung in English and German - - "Silent Night" / "Stille Nacht" - that induced the soldiers to leave their trenches and meet their adversaries in peace amidst the chaos and ruin of the Western Front. During this brief truce, the soldiers celebrated Christmas together, exchanged gifts, played football (soccer) and buried their dead before returning to the horrors of war.
Integrity's UK office, based in Eastbourne, has been working with Sports Chaplaincy UK and HOPE Together, coordinating national caroling events to commemorate the truce and the anniversary of "The Great War," which devastated Europe. Most recently, the label partnered with platinum-selling tenor Paul Potts to record the new version of the song as a single in support of Syrian refugees. Profits from the sale of the "Silent Night (Christ The Savior Is Born)" single, available globally through iTunes, support TearFund.org's efforts to aid women and children fleeing the war-torn nation.
"It's fantastic to be invited to record such an iconic Christmas carol for such a worthwhile cause," says Potts. "I hope that people will enjoy it as much as I do and it becomes part of their Christmas."
The Most Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury adds: "On Christmas Day 1914, the guns fell silent on the Western Front as German and British soldiers laid down their weapons… this Christmas 2014, we are invited to leave our defended positions and meet those we might consider to be our enemies, exchange greetings, make peace and sing carols. We do this not because of the actions of those soldiers 100 years ago but because of the actions of God over 2,000 years ago, as He came to us, at great cost, to bring reconciliation and peace, joy and hope, life and light. And he came to us not just to bring change for one day, but for the whole of our lives."
For more information on Silent Night Carols, the "Sing Silent Night" caroling events in the UK, and the Paul Potts "Silent Night (Christ The Savior Is Born)" single, visit http://singsilentnight.com.