Here's how Wikipedia describes this classical work:
Messiah presents an interpretation of the Christian view of the Messiah, or "the anointed one" as Jesus the Christ. Divided into three parts, the libretto covers the prophecies concerning the Christ, the birth, miracles, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension of Jesus, and finally the End Times with the Christ's final victory over death and sin.
Although the work was conceived for secular theatre and first performed during Lent, it has become common practice since Handel's death to perform Messiah during Advent, the preparatory period of the Christmas season, rather than in Lent or at Easter.
I was honored with the opportunity to sing this several times with my fellow Concert Choir members during my college years and have always been inspired by it. Even after all these years, I still remember my "big mama alto" part! ;-D There's just something extra special about this chorus that brings out the reverence and praise to God for me like no other music—especially when surrounded by beautifully harmonizing voices. I can only imagine how surprised and then thrilled these unsuspecting shoppers were when these talented people began to sing—the acoustics in this place must have been amazing!
On a lighter note, here's another video with a completely different approach. I doubt if real monks under vows of silence would portray the music quite like this, but I think it's cool to see the words pop up and feel the praise that way too!
I would love to participate in the entire concert again someday… maybe next year I'll look around and see where I might be able to join a local choir production? If you've never been to one before, I highly recommend it—I promise you will leave feeling refreshed and inspired for this Christmas season! *Ü*