Silence and Peace in the Snow


A posting on Facebook explained why it is more quiet when it’s snowing.  “Fresh snow absorbs sound, lowering ambient noise over a landscape because trapped air in the snow attenuates vibration.”

Sunsets are awesome and mountains majestic and the sky at night sings the glory of God.  But when I wake in the middle of the night and want to get back to sleep I think of snow.  “Now the silence Now the peace.”

Someone responded on Facebook with “Sound of Silence.” I love the old Simon and Garfunkel song, but I thought of my favorite hymn “Now the Silence.” (LSB 910, ELW 460) According to LSB notes, “This text traces the path of the Divine Service: from confession and absolution through the Word and Sacrament.  Earthly worship, centered in these precious means of grace, is a joyful foretaste of the heavenly wedding banquet to come.”  Therefore, LSB puts it in the Beginning of Service section of hymns.  But one can’t really go wrong with singing it during Holy Communion as ELW suggests.

One of the great hymn writers of our day, Jaroslav Vajda penned the hymn and Carl Schalk wrote the tune.  Perhaps because of its peculiar meter the only time I get to sing it is when I pick the hymn.  So I picked it last Sunday for the folks at Bunker Hill.  Some of the people didn’t do too badly with it.  I chose a familiar hymn to close the service, “Beautiful Savior.”

The words for Now the Silence:

Now the silence Now the peace

Now the empty hands uplifted

Now the kneeling Now the plea

Now the Father’s arms in welcome

Now the hearing Now the pow’r

Now the vessel brimmed for pouring

Now the body Now the blood

Now the joyful celebration

Now the wedding Now the songs

Now the heart forgiven leaping

Now the Spirit’s visitation

Now the Son’s epiphany

Now the Father’s blessing

Now Now Now

(Notice there is no punctuation, not even a period at the end.)

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