Advent Day 18: Hebridean children perform Gaelic version of Silent Night

A group of children from a church project on the Hebridean island of Great Bernera have recorded a Scottish Gaelic version of the popular and well-loved Christmas carol, Silent Night.

The words Joy To The World written in Gaelic beside a picture of a group of children
Children from the Molaidh Mi E / MME Project perform a Gaelic rendition of Silent Night.

The group, which meets in Bernera church hall every Monday night, is called ‘Molaidh Mi E' (Scottish Gaelic for ‘We Will Praise Him') or the ‘MME Project'.

Prompted by the recent introduction of fibre optic broadband to the island, the increased connectivity has allowed local children the chance to produce their own online creative Christian worship material through the medium of the Scottish Gaelic language.

Rev Hugh Stewart, the minister at Lochs-in-Bernera linked with Uig, said:

"Joy is central to the vibrant, vivacious witness of life-affirming Christian faith.

"Never more so than at this special time of year.

"A joy that recognises that the baby boy lying in the anonymity of a Middle Eastern steading over 2,000 years ago is none other than the divinely promised Messiah, Jesus.

"Christian joy and praise are foundational to the MME Project, and it's great to see such wonderfully talented children creatively and joyfully working together to produce Biblically based Gaelic praise materials in today's quill and parchment: the Internet."

Supporters of the MME Project include Comataidh Gaidhlig, Eaglais na h-Alba and Comunn na Gaidhlig.

Amongst the children involved in the project is Roseanne MacInnes-Smith, a young girl who has had to learn to speak for the third time in her short life, following recent life-threatening surgery.

"By God's grace, that is a testimony that the ‘Joy of the Lord is our strength'," Mr Stewart said.

Also featured in the video are Joseph Smith-MacInnes, Ava Douglas, Rebecca MacKenzie, Sarah MacKenzie and Carrie Douglas.

Oidhche shàmhach

With thanks to MG ALBA for their help in producing this video.

Lyrics to Oidhche shàmhach / Silent Night:

Oidhche shàmhach, oidhche naomh,
cadal ciùin tha air an t-saogh'l
Màiri is Iòsaph ‘san stàbull fhuar
A' freasdal a' phàisd tha àlainn ‘na shnuadh,
An sìth o nèamh ‘na shuain,
an sìth o nèamh ‘na shuain.

Oidhche shàmhach, oidhche naomh,
B'e buachaill chunnaic fòs an t-soills
'S a chuala farsaing feadh na tìr
An t-sèisd bh' aig ceòl an ainglean binn:
Tha Crìosd, am Fear-saoraidh, ‘nur còir,
Tha Crìosd, am Fear-saoraidh, ‘nur còir.

Oidhche shàmhach, oidhche naomh,
Aon Mhac Dhé, cho maiseach leinn;
Tha gràdh a' boillsgeadh oirnn bho d' ghnùis
'S tha uair nan gràs an-dràsd' dhuinn dlùth,
Shlànaighear, o'n rugadh tu,
Shlànaighear, o'n rugadh tu.

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Throughout the season, we'll bring you stories that highlight how church members around the country are celebrating the birth of Jesus and sharing their faith, hope and love with everyone in their communities.

Follow along with this year's Joy To The World Advent calendar.