Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Remembering Handel's partner in the cherished 'Messiah'
London's Handel House Museum is setting the record straight about Handel's friend and patron Charles Jennens
- Mike Collett-White, London
- United Kingdom
- December 3, 2012
Anyone dusting off their copy of George Frederic Handel’s “Messiah” in the run-up to Christmas this year might spare a thought for the unsung hero of the piece.
Without Charles Jennens, experts argue that the 18th century oratorio would never have been created, robbing Western choral music of one of its greatest works.
Handel House Museum, located in the cosy London home where the German-born composer spent much of his life, is seeking to put the record straight about a man who, for many reasons, has been passed over by history.
“The Messiah would not have been written without him,” said the museum’s director Sarah Bardwell of Jennens, who lived from 1700 to 1773.
For landowner and patron of the arts Jennens, the words to the Messiah were an expression of deeply held Protestant beliefs, and he was determined that Handel, a composer he had long championed, set it to music.
The words, famously opening with “Comfort ye”, are not Jennens’ own but carefully selected verses from the Bible as well as a small number of psalms from the Book of Common Prayer.
“If you listen to the words it’s all to do with your relationship with God as in the individual, there’s none of the big theological questions,” Bardwell told Reuters.
“Everyone can relate to the Messiah, even beyond Christianity on some level,” she added. “I think that’s why Jennens is so instrumental.”
Full story: Show sheds light on Handel's hidden 'Messiah' helper