Minister's Moment: A Sure and Certain Hope
A Sure and Certain Hope
Handel’s Messiah is one of the most well-known works in the history of music. He wrote it in a little under a month, literally working night and day, seldom leaving his room during the process. It is true that he borrowed some of the music from other composers (no copyright laws back then) as well as from his previously composed works. The chorus For unto Us a Child Is Given is a reworked duet from one of his operas. Still, it is an awesome feat to be able to compose that much music in such a short time. There is little question of his inspiration. He is reported to have said that when he completed the Hallelujah Chorus he saw the heavens opened.
The text is unusual among oratorios in that every word is taken directly from Scripture. Most writers of oratorio texts took a story from the Bible as their theme and then filled in the blanks in the storytelling with their own words