As part of Christmas celebrations,, my son invited me for a Handel’s “Messiah” at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC. He probably remembered that I took him, and his two sisters, to many Handel’s “Messiah” when they were young. At least, I remembered one at Springfield (VA) Methodist Church, just down the road form where we have been living for almost 30 years in Burke, VA. They barely paid attention, but, as usual, I just hoped it would have some effect in their lives.
Messiah, composed in the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin in 1742, is Handel's most famous creation and is among the most popular works in Western choral literature. The very well-known "Hallelujah" chorus is part of Handel's Messiah.The most famous movement is the "Hallelujah" chorus, which concludes the second of the three parts. The text is drawn from three passages in the New Testament book of Revelation:
“And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thundering, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this World are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”
In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that King George II rose to his feet at this point.
At the National Cathedral we stood up for that section. And that was probably the most interesting part as far as I was concerned.
Also, I like the congregation. Your stereotype white middle and upper middle class, well dressed, quite (“the quite American”) and gracious.
My daughter asked why I go to “Christian things,” and I said: “…., I am not a Jew. Muslims are not Jews. We believe in Jesus Christ. There is probably as much about Jesus Christ in the Koran as is in the Bible. As a matter of fact, there is more about Mary the Virgin in the Koran than in the Bible.”