Picture taken from "Handel's Messiah in Grace Cathedral" - see Video below

SPECTATING HANDEL’S ORATORIO

SPECTATING HANDEL’S ORATORIO is a poem by Peter C Venable, written after an inspiring local performance on December 7, 2021 of Handel’s Messiah, which was not recorded. After the Christmas Season this presentation will return to Peter’s list of poems. If you are not familiar with Handel’s Messiah or know it well – see below.

In a magnificent cathedral,
arches five-story high at peak,
a massive Moravian star pierces
the dome like a nova. Orchestra,
chorale tuxed or black gowned
black masks barely mute seraphic voices.
Milky heads like white caps bob over
waves of pews and hovering over the balcony
we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses.*


We sit captivated, scarcely breathing
through the panorama of Hebrew prophecy,
incarnation, crucifixion and Revelation consummation-
Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest . . .*


179 years have passed and what year was without:
Why do the nations conspire, and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth rise up and the rulers band together
against the Lord and against his anointed.*


No different this year-the plague spreads
like forest wildfires, school assassinations,
political scandals, Christians martyred, enough!
Gods subtle answer not Might but One anointed in human flesh,
and the gift destined to reverberate: For the trumpet will sound,
the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.*


This echoes in the grottos of my heart.
What soul can i sing Messiah to
this chilly December Day?

 

*Hebrews: 12:1; Psalm 2:1-2; Luke 2:14; 1 Corinthians 15:51.

See Below to hear Handel’s Messiah entitled “Handel’s Messiah in Grace Cathedral”, from Grace Cathedral, San Francisco, California.

The writer has written sacred and secular verse for decades. He has been published in Prairie Messenger, Windhover, The Anglican Theological Review, Ancient Paths, The Christian Communicator, Time of Singing, The Christian Century, and others. He is a member of the Winston Salem Writers. He serves a life sentence, condemned to write verse. His Jesus Through A Poet’s Lens is now available via Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Peter+Carrington+Venable&ref=nb_sb_noss