I'm sitting in my cottage, happy to be home at last. If I haven't been at work this past week, I've most likely been at church -- either rehearsing for our Christmas concerts, or performing in them. As our director says every year, "This one was the best one ever!" I agree.
I have been singing in our church choir almost 15 years. Thus I have sung in 15 Christmas concerts. Often there is one song I don't care for, but this year I loved every one. Some of the selections were Mary, Did You Know?; Song of Zechariah; Keep Your Lamps; A Cradle, a Cross, a Crown; and Christus Paradox (one of my favorites). But my most favorite of all was the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel's Messiah. I have been singing parts of this masterpiece since my high school days. Handel wrote the entire Messiah in 1741 in 24 straight days. Food was brought to him so he didn't have to stop writing. In many parts of the world, it is the accepted practice for the audience to stand for this section of the performance. Tradition has it that King George II rose to his feet at this point. As the first notes of the triumphant Hallelujah Chorus rang out, the king rose. Royal protocol has always demanded that whenever the monarch stands, so does everyone in the monarch's presence. Thus, the entire audience stood too, initiating a tradition that has lasted more than two centuries. Our audiences followed this tradition.
On Friday night, Rachel's parents and her aunt and uncle came to the performance. My cousin Diane and her husband Dave also came. I really appreciate it. It was really fun to see them again.
I'm happy that I could be part of this important program of our church. Many people attend who have never heard the true Christmas story before.