Believing good news

How Charles Jennens helped George Handel

a sketch of 5 lit candles in a row

Luke 2, NIV 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

 “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

 

When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another,

“Let’s go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.”

 So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger.

 When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

figures in a nativity scene with a bright start in the sky

The origins of Handel’s Messiah

We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel composed it to be performed at Easter.
 
 
 
The London Symphony Orchestra presents Handel's Messiah
“Handel got the lyrics from a preacher named Charles Jennens, who wrote out the whole piece as a collage of Bible verses designed to tell a story about the Messiah.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
In some cases Jennens copied verses from the King James Version of the Bible directly, and in other cases he abridged or modified the wording of the Bible verses somewhat to fit into something that could be set to music and sung.
 
He also decided to change the “point of view” in a couple of places. Rather than quoting Jesus’ words about himself directly, for instance, he made a few changes so that the singers are singing about Jesus rather than portraying the role of Jesus.”
quoted from wheatwilliams.com

These Bible verses, attributed to  the physician Luke are sung in Part 1 of Messiah.

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(1 Corinthians 13:13)

 

an angel figurine

 

 Handel’s Messiah -Listen on Apple Music 

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who loves to write about the HEART of HEALTH. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. My ideas come from my training, experiences, medical practice, personal life, and medicine in the media. There's always something new and interesting to explore in the world of health and medicine.

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