Handel’s Messiah is a powerful musical composition which moves me. I don’t remember the first time I heard “The Messiah,” but I’ve had friends who host an annual “Messiah Sing” in their home, where folks are invited to participate in a very personal singing of Handel’s masterpiece.

When I lived in Jerusalem between 2007 and 2010, I became friends with Irene Poe Duce Levy, who translated Handel’s Messiah into Hebrew, with the help of a friend. (Irene is an American-born woman who’s related to Edgar Allen Poe. She made her way to Lebanon by ship in the 1940s, as one couldn’t travel to ‘Israel’ at that time. Modern-day Israel, as you may know, was ‘born’ in 1948, after Irene was already living there. Once in Lebanon, she made her way south to Israel by land. She can communicate in Hebrew and Arabic. Into her late 90s, Irene was still teaching Hebrew lessons at her congregation in Jerusalem. She is over 100 now!) I was in Jerusalem at the second performance of Handel’s “Messiah” in Hebrew, and bawled like a baby. It was very beautiful and powerful to be in the nation where our Messiah, Yeshua, (‘Jesus’ in English) was born, lived, died and appeared after His bodily resurrection, and to hear this performed in their native tongue. WOW!

I also received an invitation to, and happily attended, a community performance of Handel’s “Messiah” once living back in the Adirondacks after 2012. A family friend was playing in the brass section of the orchestra which made this performance more personal and enjoyable for me. It was performed in a cozy church sanctuary where the audience was invited to sing along with certain parts. This warmed my heart, which was already alive with a Christmas glow.

Here are lyrics I pulled from an online source:

“Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.


Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain.

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given,
and the government shall be upon His shoulder:
and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion;
Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee.
He is the righteous Savior.
And he shall speak peace unto the heathen.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned every one to his own way;
and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Let us break their bonds asunder, and cast away their yokes from us.
Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdoms of this world is become the kingdoms of our Lord,
and of His Christ: and He shall reign for ever and ever.
King of Kings, and Lord of Lords.
Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power,
and riches, and wisdom, and strength,
and honor, and glory, and blessing.
Blessing, and honor, glory, and power,
be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne,
and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.
Amen.”
 
Those of you who've been to a performance of Handel's Messiah, or listened to a recording of it, may recognize the various parts overlaid in the culminating "Hallelujah Chorus" and recall beautiful harmonies which stay with you:
“Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
 
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth (Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah)
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth (Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah)
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah (Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah)
For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth (Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah)
Hallelujah
 
The Kingdom of this world
Is become
The Kingdom of our Lord
And of His Christ
And of His Christ
And He shall reign forever and ever
And He shall reign forever and ever (And He shall reign forever and ever)
And He shall reign forever and ever (And He shall reign forever and ever)
And he shall reign forever and ever (And He shall reign forever and ever)
 
King of Kings (Forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah)
And Lord of Lords (Forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah)
King of Kings (Forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah)
And Lord of Lords (Forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah)
King of Kings (Forever and ever hallelujah hallelujah)
And Lord of Lords
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
 
And he shall reign forever and ever (And he shall reign)
And he shall reign forever and ever (And he shall reign)
 
King of Kings forever and ever
And Lord of Lords hallelujah hallelujah
And he shall reign forever, forever and ever
 
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
King of Kings and Lord of Lords
And he shall reign forever and ever (And he shall reign forever and ever)
 
Forever and ever, forever and ever (King of Kings and Lord of Lords)
 
Hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah

CHALLENGE…


* Be sure to check out last week’s and today’s Episodes of “Refill with Randy” featuring Wende Swick!!! You can find last week’s episode here https://youtu.be/0ODrKH5YxJA and today’s will premiere on FB and YouTube at 8:15am.

One thought on ““Handel’s Messiah” by Wende Swick

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