My cousin shared something from YouTube with me that really set me in the Christmas spirit. Cameras captured a flash mob singing the Halleluiah Chorus in Niagara Falls, Ontario on November 13 at the Food Court. When I viewed it there had been more than 7 million hits, but as I researched later it had swelled to more than 10 million hits. When I went to Bing, it was there along with other performances.
One lady stepped up and started the action. By the time the piece was complete even by-standers joined in with the song. There was not a dry eye in the place. There was no background music. It was done a cappella.
What a thrilling way to start the Christmas season. Christ was certainly in that celebration of song.
I had not seen a performance of the Halleluiah Chorus advertised as being done anywhere in the area. This performance on YouTube was my fix for the season. Just watching the clip was stirring.
Some research led me to information about this famous piece of music. Most of you know that the Halleluiah Chorus is part of Handel's Messiah. The work is classic. Handel was born in Germany in 1685. His mother described Handel as "interested in music early in his life".
After dabbling in many types of music, Handel found a niche in the oratorios. Oratorios were referred to as the "musical morality" plays. They were extremely popular in Italy, but not so in Germany, his homeland. Handel found a secondary audience in England. For a time Handel was the most famous musician in London.
During a lean time in his career Handel created the work known as the Messiah. The first performance of this work was in Ireland near Easter. Next, he took his newest work to London. It was said, although there was no formal documentation, that King George II was so moved by the "Halleluiah Chorus" that he stood up. Since the King was on his feet, the rest of the audience stood as well. This was how the tradition of standing for the performance may have begun.
Handel was in the musical forefront for many years. He conducted the Messiah for the last time just days before his death. A portion of it, one of his most famous works, was played at his funeral.
By 1900, years after Handel's death, it was said the best way to fill a church or a concert hall was to schedule a performance of the Messiah. Although this famous piece began as a work for Easter, it has become a Christmas tradition. In fact, it is without a doubt, the most beloved classical Christmas musical.
While the flash mob performance done in Niagara Falls was not a totally impromptu event, it was inspiring for me and evidently for millions of others around the world. I began my article today with the title "Never Underestimate the Power of One".
People may feel they are insignificant and do not matter. That is far from the truth. Someone started this idea of the "flash mob" and it was wildly successful. What a tribute this was to the Christmas season and its draw on Christians.
Many people are lonely at Christmas. If you are alone during this holy season it is indeed lonely. The best way to cure the lonesome feeling is to be proactive. Invite someone to share it with you. Do not sit alone and feel sorry for yourself. Get out and be a blessing to someone.
Christ cannot be taken out of Christmas. There would be no holiday during this winter season if it was not for the birth of the babe in the manger. All of our customs are derived from there. There is no getting around it, Christmas is a religious celebration and it should be. It is time for Christians to stand up and be counted.
Do we scoff at others' beliefs when we wish them Merry Christmas I do not believe so. Instead, I believe the expression of Merry Christmas validates my own beliefs.
This year the Salvation Army bell ringers seem to be wishing everyone a Merry Christmas. I think they took some flack last year over their happy holidays. Stores have asked employees to wish patrons "Happy Holidays", but Christmas is not just a holiday. It is Christ's birthday that is the reason for the seasons we refer to as Advent and Christmas. As a Christian, honor the birth of the Savior with a greeting to all of "Merry Christmas."
If you do not know Jesus as your Lord and personal Savior, find out more about this babe sent to earth by His father to take on the sins of the world. Attend a Christmas worship service wherever you celebrate with family and friends.
Merry Christmas to my all of my faithful readers and friends. May you capture the blessings of the season.
Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, PA. Contact at firstname.lastname@example.org