Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Listening to Handel’s Messiah

In the Bing search window this morning I typed, "Messiah YouTube" and then had to choose one. I chose the complete work, not just the Christmas portion. From my living room window overlooking the fresh snow, I can listen for 2 1/2 hours, London Philharmonic. This is Advent, the beginning of the church year, and although Handel wrote it for Easter, it has become a custom for Advent and Christmas. Fr. Sebastian White, editor of Magnificat writes in the December issue, "The Son given unto us at Christmas is the Man of Sorrows who will suffer and die for us on Good Friday. He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who rises victorious at Easter, unleashing our pent-up alleluias."

When Messiah debuted in Dublin in 1742, such a huge crowd was expected that ladies were told to wear dresses without hoops and men were asked to leave their swords at home. I wonder how they got the word out with no internet, twitter or Facebook?

In my younger years when I sang in a choir, I was a first soprano; now I'm a tenor and only have about 5 raspy notes, and they don't seem to be in a row. But I hope someday to join the heavenly choir of angels and saints who day and night sing, "Worthy is the lamb that was slain. . . "

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