"It is the Lenten season in London, 1743, the night of March 23, and the theater-going public is in a chastened mood. No plays, no operas—in fact, no secular entertainments of any kind—seem appropriate now, and indeed, it is hard to find them during this forty-day season of penance and reflection before the gladness of Easter...Tonight Handel wears and an anxious expression, and again one cannot help but wonder why. The knowledgeable in the audience know the identity of the expensively dressed gentleman sitting in a very good seat...scowling all the while. This is Charles Jennens, wealthy squire of Gopsal estate... and writer of the [text] for tonight's entertainment." - Tim Slover
Perhaps no work in the Classical music cannon is more popular during the Advent season than Handel's Messiah. Woven into the music is a rich fabric of Scripture that captures the specific goals of the work's author (or librettist) Charles Jennens. Messiah stitches together verses from across the Bible into a reflection and commentary on the prophecy and Passion of Jesus. In our offering Messiah: The Lord Gave the Word we will look at several passages from Jennens libretto: where they are sourced Biblically, how they reflect the theology of the eighteenth century Church of England, and how these passages are understood in our modern context. Don't worry, we'll listen to some beautiful music as well!
Join our very own Jordan Hammons on Sunday mornings during Advent for a deep dive into one of the most famous and widely shared pieces in music history. Join via Zoom using the Sunday Morning Formation link in the weekly service schedule emails.