Focus: Christmas (The Hallelujah Chorus)
Before You Begin:
For this adventure you’ll need a recording of “The Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah. If you don’t own a copy of this, try your local library or Spotify. If you decide to purchase a copy of the recording, we recommend Handel’s Young Messiah featuring contemporary Christian artists; this album is now out of print, but available as pre-owned copies on Amazon.
The Prayer Time!
Gather your family together and read the following information aloud:
In 1741 a man named Charles Jennens compiled different verses from the Bible that told the story of Jesus. He gave this collection to George F. Handel, a composer. Handel took only 24 days to write the music that accompanied these words. This was called Messiah. When Handel had written the part that is called “The Hallelujah Chorus,” his servant found him with tears in his eyes. Handel had found such beauty in the words and music he told his servant, “I think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself!”
When Messiah was performed a few years later, the king of England attended a performance. He was so moved by “The Hallelujah Chorus” that he stood up and remained standing for the entire song. It was the custom that everyone stand when the king stands, so the entire audience stood for the chorus. This tradition has continued, and now it is customary to stand whenever you hear “The Hallelujah Chorus.”
Have a family member read Revelation 11:15 and 19:6-7. Explain that the words of these verses are used in “The Hallelujah Chorus.” Then discuss these questions with your family:
- What do these verses make you think about heaven?
- What do you think it will be like when we’re all in heaven and singing praises to God?
Listen together to “The Hallelujah Chorus.” Play it as loudly as you can! (You may stand if you like!)
When the music is over, ask:
- How do you think these voices singing praise are like the voices of people in heaven singing to God?
- How does this music make you feel?
- How do you think God feels when he hears us singing praises to him like this?
Play the music again, and this time encourage family members to sing along as loudly as they like, praising God like the angels!
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