When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son...

When the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son…

Ultimately, every human being must face this question: What do you think of Jesus Christ? Whose Son is He? We must answer this question with belief and action. We must not only believe something about Jesus, but we must do something about Him. We must accept Him or reject Him. ~ Billy Graham, The Jesus Generation, 1971


In the bleak mid-winter, frosty wind made moan; Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow; In the bleak mid-winter, long, long ago / Our God, heav’n cannot hold Him, nor the earth sustain; Heav’n and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign. In the bleak mid-winter, a stable-place sufficed; The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ / Angels and archangels may have gathered there, Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air; But only His mother in her maiden bliss; Worshiped the Beloved with a kiss / What can I give Him, poor as I am? If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb; If I were a wise man, I would do my part; Yet what I can, I give Him – give my heart.

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. ~ Luke 2:8-14

Sometimes it seems there is little in this world today that is silent, holy, calm, or bright. However noisy, unholy, frenetic, or dark it may appear to be, music such as the immortal hymn, “Silent Night,” carries with it a feeling that can remind us there is still an abundance of virtue all around us. There is hope and beauty. And there is light.

To properly paint this feeling we collaborated with none other than the tenor legend, Plácido Domingo, whose sublime vocal gift is rivaled by his kindness and sincerity. It was a joy to work with him. He is an artist whose illustrious, exalted career has not snuffed out his sweet disposition or his genuine love for the art of music. Joining us are the children from the Cathedral School Choristers, whose pure faith proclaim the profound message of this hymn. We filmed this during an East coast tour in the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, one of the largest cathedrals in the world, a colossal monument to the greatest gift ever given, the Son of God ….

In Excelsis Deo!

Angels from the realms of glory, Wing your flight through all the earth; Ye who sang creation’s story, Now proclaim Messiah’s birth Gloria, In excelsis deo Gloria, In excelsis deo / Shepherds, in the fields abiding, Watching o’er your flocks by night; God with man is now residing, Yonder shines the infant light / Gloria, In excelsis deo / Gloria, In excelsis deo Sages, leave your contemplation, Brighter visions beam afar; Seek the great desire of nations, Ye have seen His natal star / Gloria, In excelsis deo; Gloria, In excelsis deo; Gloria, In excelsis deo; Gloria, In excelsis deo /

May your Christmas this year be filled with serenity, spirituality, peace, and felicity. Merry Christmas from The Piano Guys!

During the week following her coronation (28 June, 1838) the 19-year-old Queen Victoria, as part of her festivities, attended a performance of Handel’s Messiah in the Royal Lodge. The Messiah is what is known as an oratorio, which is a musical composition similar to an opera, except the performers primarily deal with sacred topics and there is very little movement during the performance. The Messiah consists entirely of verses from the Authorized King James Version of the Bible.

The lady-in-waiting came to her and said, “Everybody in the room with the exception of the Queen will rise and will remain standing for the duration of the Hallelujah Chorus. It is royal etiquette that the Queen should remain seated.” The music continued, sweeter and fuller, and seemed to be sweet enough for heaven. When the performers began singing the Hallelujah chorus, which was taken from the book of Revelation, the audience rose and stood with their heads bowed. It was obvious that the Queen was very deeply moved. Her lips trembled and her eyes filled with tears, her body shaking until the melody sounded, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. In spite of the royal etiquette the young Queen rose and remained standing with her head bowed until the music ended. She had never done anything more noble and more royal. Since that day it has remained customary for audience members to stand when the Hallelujah chorus is played.

Years later, when Canon (later Dean) Farrar served the Queen as chaplain, he visited her when she was sick. She had been reading a leaflet on the return of Christ and said, “Chaplain, what do you think about the return of Christ?”

The chaplain answered, “Your Royal Highness, why have you asked me that?”

“Oh,” she said, “I wish that He returns while I am still alive, because nothing would give me more joy than to pass on the crown of Great Britain and India to Him with my own hands.” In her youth, with most of her life still ahead of her, she had personally crowned Jesus KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS; and then much later, in her latter years, with grey hair and with the many sorrows that she had borne, she wanted to give Him every crown that God had given to her. When you grow older you might have less strength, but when you let God be God and allow Jesus Christ to be Lord of your life, you have a spiritual abundance that allows you to be happy and fulfilled with a gentle caring that you can share with those around you. Hallelujah indeed!

Herewith the full performance of Handel’s Messiah by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, and a performance worthy to be archived for your family.

Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.  ~ I Corinthians 15:51-53


H/T Gerard Vanderleun and American Digest; The Piano Guys; personal archives and many, many fond memories of Christmases long past, and family and friends who are now with the Lord in glory… In Excelsis Deo!

Face of Jesus by Richard Hook

Soli Deo Gloria!