December 23

December twenty-third, “O Holy Night” (1855). The first English translation of "O Holy Night" was by Unitarian minister John Sullivan Dwight, who tweaked the original French author's socialist themes and images to advance Dwight's own abolitionist cause. Not only was the French author a socialist, but he also declared himself an atheist and had it set to music by a Jewish composer, factors that led French clergy to ban the carol's use in worship. (This is the only song included in this advent calendar to explicitly mention Jesus or his birth.)