the true meaning of

Christmas Carols

George Frederick Handel was born at Halle in Germany on February 23, 1685. He originally studied for the law and then began to write operas. He moved to Italy in 1706 and to England in 1710, where in 1726 he became a British subject. From operas, Handel turned to the writing of oratorios, (works with a religious theme to be sung by soloists and a chorus). But in the early 1740s he was at a low point in his life. His money was gone. Creditors hounded him, threatening him with imprisonment. His right side became paralyzed, and his health deteriorated. For a brief time he was tempted to give up. It was out of that despair that he wrote the oratorio known as Messiah, which many consider the greatest piece of church music in history. Handel was a devout Christian and Messiah reflects his faith.

The story behind the carol...

The text of the chorus is taken from the King James Version of the Bible. The words are Scriptural passages from both Testaments dealing with the birth, death, and resurrection of the Lord Jesus. It was first performed in Dublin, Ireland, in 1742. G. B. Shaw referred to it as "the hymn that can make atheists cry." In most large towns in the English-speaking world, it is performed every Christmas and Easter.

“Hallelujah” is a Hebrew term meaning “Praise the Lord.” The Psalmist declared that everything that had breath should praise the Lord. Christians have great cause to praise God not only for Who He is but for what He has so graciously done on behalf of mankind.

More carols in our series...

Joy to the World

O Little Town of Bethlehem

Hark the Herald Angels Sing

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks

Mary Did You Know

Fear Not - I Heard the Bells

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