YOUNG Freeman John
YOUNG John Freeman (October 30, 1820 – November 15, 1885), bishop and lyricist to the English-language version of the Christmas hymn Silent Night.
Young was born in Pittston, Maine, USA and was educated at the Maine Wesleyan Seminary and later studied at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, but dropped out after his freshman year. After joining the Episcopal Church, he studied at the Virginia Theological Seminary, from where he graduated in 1845. In 1865 he was awarded a Doctor of Sacred Theology from Columbia University.Young was ordained deacon on April 20, 1845, and was appointed to St John's Church in Jacksonville, Florida. On January 11, 1846, he was ordained a priest at St John's Church in Tallahassee, Florida, and then became the rector of St John's Church in Jacksonville, Florida. In December 1847, he moved to Brazoria County, Texas, where he served as a missionary, while in November 1850 he moved to Livingston, Mississippi. Between 1852 and 1860, he served as rector of Assumption Parish, Louisiana in Napoleonville, Louisiana. In 1860 he became assistant rector of Trinity Church in New York City. He was the secretary for the Russo-Greek Committee of the General Convention and was an ecumenical envoy to the Russian Orthodox Church.
In 1867, Young was elected as the second Bishop of Florida and was consecrated on July 25, 1867 in Trinity Church. He retained the post till his death in 1885. In later years, while still serving as an active Bishop, he also lectured in Liturgics and Ecclesiastical Music at The University of the South.
Young is well known for being the one who translated the famous German Christmas carol Silent Night into English in 1859. He wrote and published the English translation that is most frequently sung today, translated from three of Joseph Mohr original six verses, in a 16-page pamphlet titled Carols For Christmas Tide. The pamphlet also included other carols, like Earth Today Rejoices, Good Christian Men Rejoice, Here Is Joy For Every Age, Earthly Friends Will Change And Falter, Royal Day That Chasest Gloom, and Good King Wenceslas.