Join us on April 15th for worship has the Sanctuary Choir and Orchestra will be presenting the Passion/Easter portion of Handel’s “Messiah” during our morning worship! If you don’t know what Handel’s Messiah is, here is a little history:
The Messiah oratorio premiered in 1742 when the German-born Handel was the preeminent composer in his adopted home of the United Kingdom. Handel’s name drew such a crowd that audience members were advised to leave their hoop skirts and swords at home for fear of overcrowding at the Messiah’s Dublin premiere.
Librettist Charles Jennens, who was a close friend and collaborator with Handel, used the biblical stories of Jesus for the Messiah’s text. Jennens described his work as “a meditation of our Lord as Messiah in Christian thought and belief.” But only the first third of the work was about the birth of Jesus. The second act covers the death of Jesus and the third focused on his resurrection. As such, the piece was originally conceived as a work for Easter and was premiered in the spring during the Lent season.
Handel wrote the original version of Messiah in three to four weeks. Most historic accounts estimate the composer spent only 24 days writing the oratorio. What makes this even more astounding is the sheer scale of the 259-page score. Richard Luckett, author of Handel’s Messiah: A Celebration, writes that there are some uncorrected errors or blotted out notes but remarkably few mistakes given the speed of Handel’s writing.