Handel – Messiah always for my Christmas celebration

My Christmas music celebration usually starts around Thanksgiving Day. I always want to listen to the full version of Handel’s Messiah many many times during this wonderful Christmas season, and my spirit is often lifted by this magical music piece.  The following is a list of web page links for the classical music recordings of Handel’s Messiah.

. Handel – Messiah – by London Philharmonic (Complete Concerto/Full) : https://youtu.be/71NCzuDNUcg

. Messiah – A Sacred Oratorio, Handel – London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Colin Davis https://youtu.be/ZuGSOkYWfDQ

. Handel Messiah The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge: https://youtu.be/SCLrle4T9MI?t=78

Quote from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_(Handel) Messiah (HWV 56)[1][n 1] is an English-language oratorio composed in 1741 by George Frideric Handel, with a scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible, and from the Coverdale Psalter, the version of the Psalms included with the Book of Common Prayer. It was first performed in Dublin on 13 April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later. After an initially modest public reception, the oratorio gained in popularity, eventually becoming one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.

Handel’s reputation in England, where he had lived since 1712, had been established through his compositions of Italian opera. He turned to English oratorio in the 1730s in response to changes in public taste; Messiah was his sixth work in this genre. Although its structure resembles that of opera, it is not in dramatic form; there are no impersonations of characters and no direct speech. Instead, Jennens’s text is an extended reflection on Jesus as the Messiah called Christ. The text begins in Part I with prophecies by Isaiah and others, and moves to the annunciation to the shepherds, the only “scene” taken from the Gospels. In Part II, Handel concentrates on the Passion and ends with the “Hallelujah” chorus. In Part III he covers the resurrection of the dead and Christ’s glorification in heaven.

Handel wrote Messiah for modest vocal and instrumental forces, with optional settings for many of the individual numbers. In the years after his death, the work was adapted for performance on a much larger scale, with giant orchestras and choirs. In other efforts to update it, its orchestration was revised and amplified by (among others) Mozart (Der Messias). In the late 20th and early 21st centuries the trend has been towards reproducing a greater fidelity to Handel’s original intentions, although “big Messiah” productions continue to be mounted. A near-complete version was issued on 78 rpm discs in 1928; since then the work has been recorded many times.


“In order to pray the first thing to say is ‘Father.’”

Quote: In an off-the-cuff remark, Francis underlined that praying also means being in silence with God. He scolded faithful who believe that Mass is a time for chitchat. “It is not a moment to converse, it’s a moment of silence to prepare for dialogue. The moment to collect one’s heart to prepare for the encounter with the Lord,” the pope said Nov. 15.

In the Gospel, Jesus looked for secluded areas to pray. His disciples yearned to have the same intimate relationship with God and asked him to teach them how to pray. The first thing Jesus told them is that in order to pray the first thing to say is ‘Father.’

“If I am not able to call God Father, I am not able to pray,” Francis said. “This is the first point: to be humble, recognize oneself as son, rest in the Father, trust in Him. To enter the Kingdom of Heaven it’s necessary to make oneself small like children.”

Children, the pope continued, know that their parents will take care of them and “trust and have confidence” in them implicitly, and the faithful must have the same trust and confidence in their relationship with God.

The second point, Francis continued, is also to be like children by allowing oneself to be amazed. Children “always ask a thousand questions because they wish to understand the world and are surprised even by small things because everything is new to them,” he said.

Quoting the Gospel according to John, the pope asked if we are ready to be “reborn from above” and if it’s possible before the everyday tragedies to find once more “the taste, the joy, the astonishment of life.” The desire to be reborn is at the heart of every believer but Francis warned that our spiritual life can be easily lost in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

“In truth, the Lord amazes us by showing us that He loves us even in our weaknesses,” Francis said. “The Lord always forgives us.”

Source: https://cruxnow.com/vatican/2017/11/15/pope-francis-enter-kingdom-heaven-let-amazed/