In the old days....meaning the days before television we made our own entertainment.
I think this maybe a northern custom but up there where I lived every small town, every village held its own version of Handel's Messiah.
Just before Christmas every year we either sang it or listened to it.
It was for many the real start of the festive season.....
Trudging along behind my grandparents I often wished it might be a musical or a film I was being dragged off to but no. It was always the Messiah.
I have no recollection of how the singing went. I have no way of knowing if it was good bad or indifferent but I do remember the feeling, the simple joy of being part of a huge crowd both listening and at times joining in.
The great chorus towards the end was shared by everyone present. We all sang. Alleluias rent the Christmas air with majesty and joy which even I as a small girl felt.
I'm not sure when or why this massive shout of joy stopped.
Everybody loved it....it was an occasion shared by all, even the children.
I know it's not now a yearly event...but I was delighted to find it being done in Truro cathedral this year!
A friend invited me to go and last night I took part in this remarkable ritual.
We stood for the Alleluias as is the custom but only the choir sang.
It was a lovely occasion.
It started the season off well, I enjoyed the whole experience. Thank you God!
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