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The Second Sunday of Easter
One of the musical traditions I look forward to the most at The Falls Church is performing the “Hallelujah” chorus from George Frideric Handel’s Messiah on Easter Sunday. This oratorio based on the life of Jesus Christ was written 281 years ago in the span of less than a month. To be fair, the completion of its 260 pages was only attainable by Handel essentially not sleeping or eating.  He was almost in a trance as he penned the notes, and his servants often found him in tears as he composed. Although we now know this magnum opus to be the composer’s crowning achievement, it was not an immediate success, and moreover, was completed at a time he was recovering from a stretch of professional failures that had left him in a position of significant debt. 
 
Messiah’s 1742 premiere itself in Dublin was a huge success, but it wasn’t met with the same excitement in London the following season. Six scheduled performances were cancelled by Handel in 1743, and it was completely removed from the schedule in the subsequent years to follow.  The ”Hallelujah” chorus itself was the turning point for Handel in reversing this streak of bad luck. In 1749, London’s Foundling Hospital held a fundraising concert, where Handel performed a mix of new music and well as older pieces – including the “Hallelujah” chorus. The concert was so well received that Handel was invited back the next year, where he performed the entire Messiah oratorio. Performances became an Eastertime tradition at the Foundling Hospital from that point forward, until the 1770s. 

Quite fitting that this chorus, which we use to capture the joy and miracle of Jesus’ resurrection, was also in large part responsible for the resurrection of Handel’s personal and professional standing. When he completed “Hallelujah,” he reportedly told his servant, “I did think I did see all Heaven before me, and the great God Himself seated on His throne, with His company of Angels.” I hope you, too, glimpse a version of glory behind the veil when you hear our Historic Church Choir and Festival Chamber Orchestra’s rendition of this iconic piece.   

Julie

The 9:00 a.m. service premieres on YouTube at 8:45 a.m. and remains available afterwards. If you are worshiping virtually, you may follow along with the service bulletin. See the Week-at-a-Glance below for the complete Sunday schedule.

Preaching on Sunday 24th April: Lauren Breeden, Director of Children’s and Family Ministries
No doubt we have all been horrified by the unfolding crisis in Ukraine. While we have prayed, discussed and expressed our concerns and hope for peace and resolution, all of which are important, many of us are still trying to understand what we can do in terms of direct help to the families fleeing the violence and destruction right now.
 
Food, clothing, medical supplies and more are desperately needed, but with borders occupied and ceasefires ignored, how can we help?
Episcopal Relief & Development are working with Episcopal aid agencies from around the world to provide critical assistance to support Ukrainian refugees fleeing to Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland such as food, shelter, water and basic supplies.

Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ukraine Crisis Response Fund will help the organization and its partners continue to provide assistance to people displaced by the crisis in Ukraine.
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TFCE Week-at-a-Glance
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