Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Why are the 'flash-mob' performances of the Hallelujah Chorus so popular?

Catholic World News - December 16, 2010

By now more than 30 million people have watched videos of the “flash mob” performances of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in Philadelphia and in Welland, Ontario. Why are these performances so immensely popular? Why do so many people find them exhilarating?

Religion columnist Terry Mattingly reflects on those questions, and wonders why this deeply religious piece, with its homage to the “King of Kings and Lord or Lords,” is still beloved in a secular society. He questions whether the music is so familiar that people no longer hear the words, so that “the most famous anthem from this Christian masterpiece has reached the true public square of our age, in the same mix as ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’”

Additional sources for this story
Some links will take you to other sites, in a new window.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: Chestertonian - Dec. 16, 2010 7:32 PM ET USA

    '" . . the same mix as ‘Jingle Bells’ and ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.’”? Hardly! Just because it is well known, it is hardly a pop jingle. Those of us who have sung it love it because it is such a joy to sing, and listeners surely appreciate its rousing pace and echoed hallelujahs. Its roaring, lingering, final hallelujah plucks the heart strings just as "the land of the brave" does when singing the national anthem. It makes you want to cheer and clap. There's no comparison.

  • Posted by: Mike in Toronto - Dec. 16, 2010 7:09 PM ET USA

    While it's "in the same mix", it's NOT the same message. This may well be the only reference to the true meaning of Christmas that many people will get to hear, and that alone merits it a thumbs-up! Mustard seeds ...

Subscribe for free
Shop Amazon
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Holding bishops accountable: the next steps 11 hours ago
The real story behind the French ambassador's nomination to the Holy See 14 hours ago
A joyful noise unto the Lord: Goal met! May 26
De Lubac’s notes on the Second Vatican Council, section 3 May 26
Urgent! We need extra financial support between now and May 24th. May 22

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days