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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.’”

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  • 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 ...

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