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.

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.

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

sharing the HEART of Advent

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr. Aletha

Celebrating good news

If you have ever attended a live performance of Messiah, you probably stood up during the  Hallelujah Chorus.  That tradition dates back to King George II of England who according to tradition, was so moved during this song that he stood to his feet. Since he was the king, everyone  had to stand with him.

And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying,

Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying,

The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written,

King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords.
Revelation 19,  King James Version

 

The birth of Jesus made possible not just a new way of understanding life but a new way of living it.
Carl Frederick Buechner is an American writer and theologian. (affiliate link) graphic credit Lightstock.com (affiliate link)

 

 

 

Messiah Hallelujah Chorus

Often referred to as the Hallelujah Chorus, this passage is the most recognized part of Handel’s Messiah. We associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel wrote it to be performed at Easter. He drew the words of the songs from Scripture, choosing passages that tell the story of God sending Jesus to earth to redeem His people.
If you have ever attended a live performance of Messiah, you probably stood up during the  Hallelujah Chorus.  That tradition dates back to King George II of England who according to tradition, was so moved during this song that he stood to his feet. Since he was the king, everyone  had to stand with him.

 

Learn more about

The Pure Power Of Handel’s ‘Hallelujah Chorus’

 

 

Sharing the HEART of Christmas

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr. Aletha

 

 

 

multiple lighted tealights

Shouting good news at Christmas

We usually associate  Messiah with Christmas, but Handel wrote it to be performed at Easter. He drew the words of the songs from Scripture, choosing passages that tell the story of God sending Jesus to earth to redeem His people.

 

a bright star in the sky with pine trees

Announcing good news

Messiah tells the story of the advent of Christ, His victory over sin and death, His defeat of His enemies, victorious return, establishment of His kingdom on the earth, and the believer’s victory over death through His resurrection.

 

people holding burning candles in a dark room

Bringing good news

We usually associate Messiah with Christmas, but Handel intended it to be performed at Easter.

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