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Friday, December 16, 2011

Reflections on the Messiah for Advent



We've been so enjoying our Advent readings thus far into this Christmas season. Among our readings are, Ann's book, AO Christmas poetry, and we've also been enjoying reading/listening to Handel's Messiah. All the words are taken straight from Scripture, starting with prophecy of the coming Messiah, interwoven with passages of his birth, life, death and resurrection! It's beautiful. I'd heard it before, but before now I'd never read along, so I hadn't really heard it, if you know what I mean.

As we are about halfway through (or at least halfway to Christmas – we'll be catching up, see below), I'm making a few notes of observations you and I might find helpful in the future. :)

  • We take turns reading the selection out loud before listening to the selection. After listening, on occasion, we'll talk about how the sound or tone or particular instruments leant to our understanding of the passage. Most days, we don't discuss, we just enjoy the music.
  • It would be more meaningful for everyone to be able to read along. For that purpose, I've made a handy-dandy printable so that should help (we tried using our Bibles, but it's a different version, and that seemed to throw the littles for a loop – literally. I found them not listening at all, instead they were actually throwing themselves into loops by flailing their limbs and contorting their bodies into fantastical positions).
  • Encourage self-expression. We take turns at director of the symphony or as the opera singers. It can make things VERY interesting. ;) Warning: this activity may lead to the aforementioned flailing limb-type activity, jumping up and down, and even cartwheels. Just sayin'.
  • It's better to listen to a smallish section at a time rather than attempt several sections (thanks Miss Charlotte!) This may seem fairly obvious to long-time CMers, but really, if you want to listen to several sections per day, or if you get behind and want to catch up, spread them out throughout the day rather than piling them all on top of one another. The kids might actually enjoy it that way, and you will too. And, you will avoid finding yourself frustrated that they will. not. sit. still. for. just. one. more. accompagnato. I know this can happen. I may or may not be speaking from personal experience... ;)

I hope your Christmas is bright as you bask in His Light!
:)

3 comments:

Penney Douglas said...

I kept thinking I wanted to come back to your post about listening to The Messiah and reading the words so I could do some of it with my kids. Thanks for posting about it again!

The printable will probably be helpful, too. Thanks for that, too!

Your description of your times with your kids doing Advent activities sounds like our times. It's sure not perfect, but it's giving us memories, time together and time in the Word. I'm behind right now. We didn't do any of our Advent activities today. We'll have to double up tomorrow. Thankfully, it's not too hard to do that as we have split it up according to age groups this year.

Chef Penny said...

This is a great idea! I have bookmarked it for next year's Advent. I love the flailing limbs comment.

The Glasers said...

One year I had the kids walk down the hallway with the lights off, in darkness, while listening to "The People That Walked in Darkness." Then when the bass's voice began to swell as he sang of seeing a great light, I would turn on the lights.

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