Get ready for Advent now

George Frideric Handel used this scripture from Isaiah in his famous work, Messiah, first performed in 1742, and which millions of people have heard or even sang since then. The entire lyrics of Messiah are derived from scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments that describe the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Advent

The season of Advent, which comes from the Latin word adventus meaning “coming” or “visit,” begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends on Christmas Eve. Advent is the beginning of the liturgical year for Christians. (Liturgical — from liturgy, which means the forms and functions of public worship.) In 2020 Advent starts on November 29.

So, what is Christmas?

Christmas is both a secular and religious holiday. For those who observe it’s spiritual significance, Christmas is celebrated as the day the infant Jesus Christ was born (although Biblical scholars doubt that December 25 is exactly the correct day.)

Christians celebrate the season with a rich tradition of church services which feature Bible readings about Jesus’ birth and special music. And almost 300 years ago, a musician combined these traditions to create a familiar and often performed work of music.

"For unto us a son is given" baby lying in a manger
quote from Isaiah 9:6; graphic from LIGHTSTOCK.COM, affiliate link

Handel’s Messiah

George Frideric Handel used this scripture from Isaiah in his famous work, Messiah, first performed in 1742, and which  millions of people have heard or sang since then. The entire lyrics of Messiah are derived from scriptures from both the Old and New Testaments that describe the birth, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

 Handel’s Messiah -Listen on Apple Music 

Handel’s father  was a barber-surgeon. Barber-surgeons were physicians in medieval Europe, who as the name suggests cut hair and performed surgery, often treating wounds from war injuries. Eventually, surgery and barbery became separate occupations.

Christmas manger display
photo of a Nativity display at my church by Dr. Aletha

Read another post on this blog to learn more about Handel and Messiah; did you know it wasn’t written for Christmas?

bright light shining through heavy wood doors

Why Messiah belongs to Easter and doctors once cut hair

Handel’s father, Georg Handel, was a barber-surgeon, a term for physicians in the middle ages who did surgery and cut hair. Surgery was primitive and dangerous due to no anesthesia and no antibiotics to treat infection. Most surgery was done to treat war injuries.

Consider these resources for Advent- from Cokesbury

these are affiliate links which may pay a commission to help support this blog

three people, blurred, holding lit candles
photo from LIGHTSTOCK.COM, affiliate link

sharing the HEART of Advent

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Dr. Aletha

Author: Aletha Cress Oglesby, M.D.

I am a family physician who explores the HEART of HEALTH in my work, recreation, and through writing. On my blog, Watercress Words, I inform and inspire us in healthy living. I believe we can turn our health challenges into healthy opportunities. When we do, we can share the HEART of health with our families, communities, and the world. Come explore and share with me.

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