Night of Silence: the Single Best Part of Vespers

Why this song makes me cry and is the highlight of my year

Alessia Hughes, Staff Writer

Once Mrs. Miller starts playing the first chords to “Night of Silence” at the end of Vespers, I burst into tears.  Since 7th grade, 99% of my excitement for Vespers is for the roughly 3 minutes during the magic of “Night of Silence.”  This song was the reason that I sat myself down on the risers last year after feeling dizzy instead of going downstairs (I realize now that this wasn’t the smartest decision, but at the time, it was all I wanted to hear). This song is not only currently on repeat on my Spotify, but it is also one of my most played songs on my iPod (and while I’m not necessarily proud of this confession, I am certainly not ashamed of it).  I’ve been a part of this song 10 times (due to my favorite chapel of the year) and the next (last ☹) two times are going to be the most special of all.

For the past three years, I have witnessed many seniors crying during “Night of Silence.”  And now this year, I will be among those seniors.  It is my last Vespers as a student.  And although I am so grateful it is the last time I will have stand on those risers for that long, I am presently in denial that I will never get to play my beloved tambourine and triangle or sing a Vivaldi’s latin mass again.

But why do I love this song so much?  I don’t know.  I think it’s magic.  Maybe it’s the beautiful piano and bright candles.  Maybe it’s the beautiful lyrics.  Maybe it’s the medley of “Night of Silence” and “Silent Night”.  Maybe it’s for all three reasons.  A part of me loves the balance in the title, with “night” at the ends and “silence/silent” in the middle.  A part of me loves the non-traditional hymn-like lyrics.  A part of me loves the experience of singing this song with the whole congregation right before the bouncy “Joy to the World.”  I do know that I will never be able to explain exactly why I love this song and why it will be the last song on my first Christmas album.  But that  makes this song and my experience with it better.  It makes me want to hear it on repeat while doing homework.  It makes me sing it in the shower. But most importantly, it makes me want to come back to Vespers as an alumna every year for the rest of my life.  Only magical songs can do that.