Silent Night video a Christmas gift to the world

Christmas Eve 2010 marks the launch of Silent Night, a documentary featuring clips of Anglicans singing the carol across Canada and the world. More than 500 videos were sent in, and all received by Dec. 14 were included in this 10-minute compilation video, now available online.

“We sang for peace, for the hope of peace and love, and for all humankind,” said Lynne Samways Hiltz, in her introduction to theSilent Night. “This is our gift to the world as a Christmas people…a heartfelt prayer for peace and calm and a holy night for all.”

The videos offer glimpses into the diversity of Anglican life across Canada. Silent Night includes both grainy shots of Sunday schools in rural towns and professional videos from downtown cathedrals. Thousands of singers raise their voices, or play instruments ranging from handbells to violins. Anglicans worshipped in at least five languages, including Inuktitut and American Sign Language. All dioceses were represented.

The Silent Night Project has attracted outside media interest, including coverage in the Winnipeg Free Press and CBC radio in Newfoundland.

Now all are encouraged to share this video as a Christmas gift beyond the Anglican Church of Canada. The video can be downloaded for viewing in parishes or the link can be emailed to friends, posted on Facebook pages, or shared on Twitter.

The Silent Night Project also included a fundraising component. The Primate, Archbishop Fred Hiltz, asked that each singer donate a toonie (two dollars) to support the Anglican Military Ordinariate and the ministry of Anglican military chaplains, who work alongside the women and men of the Canadian Forces.

Money raised will bolster chaplains’ ministry by supporting the work of their pastoral leader, the Bishop Ordinary. Together, the Bishop Ordinary and the chaplains carry out an essential ministry: witnessing to God’s transforming power in a broken world.

The Silent Night Project was inspired by the 2008 Amazing Grace Project, when thousands of Anglicans across Canada recorded themselves singing the hymn. The Amazing Grace Project raised more than $95,000, now being used for suicide prevention programs in northern Canada.

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