Children's Choir Pays Tribute to Shooting Victims on Saturday Night Live

Connecticut Shooting: Saturday Night Live Tribute
New York City Children's Chorus sings "Silent Night"

12/16/2012 AT 10:30 AM EST

A day after a gunman shot down 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, Saturday Night Live pushed comedy aside to pay tribute to the lives lost.

The New York City Children's Chorus opened Saturday's show with an elegant performance of "Silent Night" (watch below). The song was a departure for the humor-driven show that typically kicks off the night with a punchline.

At the closing of the Christmas classic, the chorus turned back to tradition, shouting out, "Live from New York, it's Saturday Night!"

For a nation mourning, it was the episode's only reference to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. However, later in the night, the chorus returned to the stage with musical guest Paul McCartney for a performance of "Wonderful Christmas Time."

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