Handel’s Messiah

I was sleigh riding with some of our grandchildren and they were talking about the most beautiful music they had ever heard. I asked them what is the most beautiful music ever composed? To help them, I told them that the lyrics were from the most popular book ever written.

The glorious atonement is the most important event in the history of the world, and Handel’s Messiah is the best musical every written to celebrate what our Savior has done and is doing for us; the Atonement over came death and hell (the Fall of Adam and Eve), offers forgiveness for all our sins, resurrection for all, redemption for the world, and a fullness of joy for the faithful.  How can we imagine a more loving gift from our Loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son.  I just listened to the best performance I have heard of it.

George Frideric Handel

Having composed the Messiah in 24 days, Handel felt help directly from the heavens. When Beethoven got the score, he copied every word and every note that he might absorb its great meaning with the comment that this was the greatest music ever written.

Handel first performed it in Dublin, Ireland. When the contralto, Susannah Cibber, who had been scandalized in the London papers, sang the phrase, “He was despised, rejected… He hid not his Face from Shame and Spitting,” the Reverend, Dr. Delaney rose and with tears in his eyes proclaimed fervently in a voice heard throughout the Hall, “Woman, for this, be all thy sins forgiven.”

The performances were so successful that they were able to use the proceeds to free 142 from debtor’s prison. The success in Dublin gave momentum for their first performance in London, where the King was so impressed that he stood up during the singing of the Hallelujah chorus; hence the tradition that everyone stands during this chorus.

The Messiah is my favorite. It celebrates Christ’s birth, His life, His infinite atonement, and His bringing about Zion in conjunction with His Second Coming. Is there a more important message to be shared and with such beautiful music – especially at this time in history?

David W Allan