Thursday, December 08, 2005

Last night in college!!!

Pardon me for these wee almost pointless updates, but I feel I have to type something, as this is a positive way to spend time and even process some of my thoughts.

And, hard as it is to believe, it is now my last night in college of 2005! The end of the term has finally come, well, once I get the two hours of Systematic Theology in the morning over and done with. The only other official business of this term now is the visit to the Principal's house tonight for a wee reception, with all the students who haven't already hit the road home. I'm so very glad that I have managed to survive to the end of the term without getting thrown out!

Yesterday was a crazy mad day... between the Carol Service, the Dinner and the Party. In the service I was doing both a reading (as First Year Rep), and a solo in the opening hymn 'O Come, O Come Emmanuel'. The Archbishop of Dublin was along to provide a meditation on the theme of light coming into the world (John 1), and to add some solemnity to the whole event.

The Dinner was very good, with the dining hall transformed from a clinical eating place, to a warm, homely dimly lit Christmas Dinner venue. For a whole three-course meal, and all, you couldn't beat it. However, I cannot possibly say it was better than what I'll get at home, so it was just the second-best Christmas dinner I'll have this year!

But the end of my term means that I have just one week to wait until Lynsey gets home from Dundee! I can't wait til then, because I'll see her again - I don't want to make anyone sick, but I must point out in my defence that this has been the longest we haven't seen each other since we started going out... An added bonus is that on Saturday week we're going to see Handel's Messiah.

On previous postings I have mentioned my liking of Messiah, but it is even more hyped up now. Since the middle of November, I haven't listened to my cds of it, so that it will be fresh and new when I hear it performed! [In fact, I could have been away to see it tonight somewhere in Dublin, but refused!]

Messiah is a two-hour oratorio, in that it combines orchestral music, soloists, and choral pieces. It is, as the name suggests, all about the Messiah, and takes us on the journey of redemption, from the prophecies about Jesus (starting with Isaiah 40:1 'Comfort ye, comfort ye my people' - and not, as I at first thought 'Come for tea my people'), and building up the prophecies.

We then move into the coming of Jesus, with the lively 'For unto us a son is given', and the description of his birth and the angels appearing to the shepherds. The interesting point to note, though, is that the passages about Jesus' life and ministry come not from the Gospels, but from the prophets again. We then move through the crucifixion, with a particularly heart-rending 'He was despised and rejected of men', before moving into the triumph of resurrection, and the ascension, quoting Psalm 24 'Lift up your head, O ye gates'. The second section continues with the preaching of the kingdom, and the end times, culminating in the one piece that everyone knows from Messiah - the Hallelujah Chorus!

Section three then applies the message to Jesus' followers - speaking of our redemption, and how if God is for us, who can be against us (Romans 8:31). We then move into the end times again, with the tremendous prophecy that the trumpet will sound (which is, I think, one of only three times in the whole piece that trumpets are used - the other two being the message of the angels in 'Glory to God' and in the Hallelujah Chorus). The whole oratorio ends with the finale of 'Worthy is the Lamb' from Revelation 4 and 5, and an 'Amen' that goes on for about 4 minutes!

Seeing I have given a brief resume of the entire thing, I might as well add that the premiere of Messiah was performed here in this very city of Dublin - in one of the two cathedrals (I can't remember whether it was Christ Church or St Patrick's, but have a hunch it was St Patrick's given their choir school dating back to 1432).

I may have a ticket or two, if anyone would be interested in coming along?

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