Oh santa noche (‘O Holy Night’ in Spanish)

Popular hymn originally written in French

La Natividad
Painting "La Natividad" on display at the Uclés Monastery in Spain.

Jacinta lluch Valero / Creative Commons

These are Spanish lyrics to the popular Christmas hymn "O Holy Night."

The hymn was originally written in 1843 in French as Minuit, chrétiens ("Midnight, Christians") by Placide Cappeau, and multiple versions exist in both Spanish and English.

Oh santa noche

Oh noche santa de estrellas refulgentes,
esta es la noche en que el salvador nació.
Tanto esperó el mundo en su pecado,
hasta que Dios derramó su inmenso amor.

Un canto de esperanza, al mundo regocija,
por el que ilumina una nueva mañana
ponte de rodillas, escucha reverente.
¡Oh noche divina! Cristo nació.
¡Oh noche divina! nació Jesús.

Guía la luz de fe, serenamente,
de corazón ante su trono a adorar.
Oro, incienso y mirra antaño le trajeron,
la vida hoy le entregamos sin dudar.

Al rey de reyes cantamos esta noche
y su amor eterno proclame nuestra voz,
todos ante él, delante su presencia
postrados ante el rey, a nuestro Rey.
Al Rey de los siglos, adoración.

Nos enseñó amarnos uno al otro;
su voz fue amor, su evangelio es paz.
Nos hizo libres del yugo y las cadenas
de opresión, que en su nombre destruyó.

De gratitud y gozo, dulces himnos canta
el corazón humilde que a toda voz proclama:
¡Cristo el salvador! ¡Cristo el Señor!
Por siempre y para siempre, todo el honor
la gloria y el poder, sean para él.

English Translation of Spanish Lyrics

O holy night of brilliant stars,
this is the night in which the savior was born.
The world in its sin waited so long
until God poured out his immense love.

A song of hope, the world rejoices
for he who brightens the new morning.
Kneel, listen reverently.
O night divine! Christ was born.
O night divine, Jesus was born.

The light of faith serenely guides
our hearts before His throne to adore him.
Gold, incense, and myrrh they once brought him.
Our lives today we unhesitatingtly hand over to him.

We sing to the king of kings this night,
and our voice proclaims his eternal love.
All before him, before his presence,
prostrate before the king, our king,
giving adoration to the king of the ages.

He teaches us to love one another;
his voice was love, his gospel is peace.
He made us free of the yoke and chains
of oppression, which he destroyed in his name.

Out of gratitude and joy, the humble heart
sings sweet hymns, in full voice proclaiming:
Christ the savior! Christ the Lord!
Forever and ever, all the honor,
the power, and the glory are for him.

Grammar and Vocabulary notes

Oh: This interjection is used roughly the same as the English "oh" or the poetic "o."

Santa: Santa is the singular feminine form of santo, which has more than a dozen meanings. It's the word for "saint," and as an adjective it often means virtuous or holy.

Tanto: Tanto is a common adjective used in making comparison, often meaning "so" or "so much." In standard Spanish, tanto is shortened to tan to function as an adverb, but here the longer version is retained for poetic reasons.

Nació: This is a past-tense form of nacer, "to be born." An inverted word order ("cuando nació nuestro rey" instead of "cuando nuestro rey nació") is used here for poetic purposes.

El que: El que is often translated as "he who" or "that which." Note that there is no accent mark on the el.

Ponte: Ponte combines pon (an imperative form of poner) with the reflexive pronoun te. Ponerse de rodillas typically means "to kneel."

Sin dudar: Sin typically means "without," while dudar is a common verb meaning "to question" or "to doubt." So the phrase sin dudar can be used to mean "without hesitation."

Hizo: Hizo is a past-tense form of hacer, which is highly irregular. The verb nearly always means "to make" or "to do."

Dulce: Like the English word "sweet," dulce can be used to refer to the taste of something or a personal quality.

Siempre: Siempre is a common adverb meaning "always." There is no significant difference in meaning between por siempre and para siempre; both can be translated as "for always." The repetition here is for poetic emphasis, much like we might say "for ever and ever" in English.

Sean: Sean is a subjunctive form of ser, a verb usually meaning "to be."