Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hallelujah

Over twenty years ago when I was in high school, I was singing in the thirty-member adult choir at my church. We were not a musically talented group as a whole. We enjoyed singing together, and we enjoyed supporting our small church in this way. I don't even remember who the choir director was at that point, but he got it in his mind that we would perform Handel's Messiah one Christmas.

I remember purchasing the orange and white bound copy of the musical work for practice. I remember a few extra practices, I remember all of our "bo-o-o-o-o-o-rn" strings of eighth notes in "For Unto Us a Child is Born" running together. I know we hired soloists, and I'm pretty sure that we hired an orchestra. I remember feeling victorious after that concert.

"We did it! We sounded great! That was awesome!" all of us amateur musicians cried out. There were only a small handful in the choir who had ever performed it before.

About seven or eight years later my husband and I were singing in our church choir. It was a nice way for us to get to know some of the others in the church who were not in our immediate age group. Once again, the choir director decided to tackle this oratorio one Christmas. This choir was a little bigger and more experienced. In addition to my own meager experience, quite a few of the members had performed the piece, including a few who had been college music majors. Again we had extra practices, and this choir director did not let us be lazy with the long strings of "bo-o-o-o-o-o-rn" in that particular song. I enjoyed the experience yet again--of participating in a group, mastering difficult music, and even learning a few new songs from the oratorio.

Our Easter service this morning at church was lovely. It was jam-packed, as most churches are on this Sunday each year, which somehow makes the celebration of this impossible event seem even more buzzworthy and exciting. We sang a lot, the message reminded me of the importance of the resurrection, and elicited excitement that I am a Believer in it. But for me, I think the highlight was being able to join the choir for the Hallelujah chorus (by previous invitation for those of us who knew the piece). It was exhilarating, awesome, and amazing.

And he shall reign forever and ever.

Forever.

And ever.

Forever, and ever.

King of kings (forever, and ever)

And Lord of Lords (hallelujah, hallejujah)

King of kings (forever, and ever)

And Lord of Lords (hallelujah, hallejujah).

King of kings and lord of lords

And He shall reign forever and ever.

5 comments:

Dad said...

Foundry again held the Easter service at the Berry Center. Took us about 2 minutes to get there from our new home. Our first song was "Christ the Lord Is Risen Today", so I got to sing one of my favorite hymns (even more loudly and deeply when only the men sang one stanza). Wonderful message today - LOST...No More. After the combined Choir sang the anthem, "Call on Jesus", they joined the band group singers in "Sing With All the Saints in Glory". It was truly inspirational-100 choir, 7 band singers, 6 band members, and 25 orchestra incuding timpani(sp?). Then after the blessing, we stood to the Hallelujah Chorus by the Choir.
Probably around 4,000 in the congregation. You felt truly blessed just to be in attendance.
Next Sunday Foundry starts a new campus at the movie theater at 290 and Spring Cypress.We will probably try it. I am sure the pastor for the new site is older than he looks.

Anonymous said...

We were cold here too! Hannah was sick with a 102 fever last night so we left her to rest at home. My boys were in Easter egg color shirts and ties :). My favorite Easter hymn is Roll Away the Stone. We have a great drummer that plays with it and makes your hair stand on end! We had 59 dyed Easter eggs at moms today and only my kids to hunt(except for the big kids and their significant others, we are getting too old!) Happy Easter to you and your family!

Martha

Katrina said...

It sounds wonderful. The Hallelujah Chorus always stirs me deeply.

Sadly, I stayed home with a sick little boy yesterday, and I believe I was last Easter too. Oh well, I know it's a season, and before long I'll once again be joining in with the joyous Easter singing.

Beck said...

Beautiful! I listened to the Hallelujah Chorus yesterday, and just felt so deeply joyful.

Lori said...

I remember learning the Hallelujah Chorus extensively in high school and for 3 years was so excited to sing it every Christmas with the choir.

I think I have only once "performed" it again with a choir, but every time a choir sings it - I sing right along - loudly. I LOVE that song.