Handel’s Messiah: The Gospel in Words and Music

Adult Education Topical Study for Advent and Lent, Led by Elder Peggy Heely with Special Guest, Maestro Larry Loh: Sundays, beginning November 8, at 9:30 a.m.

Artwork: Hallelujah © 2020 Timothy R. Botts | Eyekons
Artwork: Hallelujah © 2020 Timothy R. Botts | Eyekons
Join us for a program of Bible study and music appreciation, exploring one of the best-loved musical compositions of all time as both a work of art and an expression of Christian theology.

The Adult Christian Education Team invites you to participate in a new multi-season study of Handel’s Messiah!

Peggy Heely, elder, will lead discussions of the biblical texts from major choruses and airs of the oratorio, focusing on their original Old and New Testament settings.

Larry Loh, conductor and Shadyside Presbyterian Church member, will share insights from his experiences of interpreting Handel’s rich musical settings. Maestro Loh is currently Music Director of Symphoria (Syracuse, New York) and the West Virginia Symphony. Previously, he served as Resident Conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony.

Just as each live performance of Messiah offers some new musical rendering, this program hopes to bring new insight to familiar Scripture passages and renewed appreciation for this remarkable musical composition.

Our study will be divided into two parts:

  • Beginning November 8, we will focus on Messiah, Part 1: the prophecy and birth of the Messiah.
  • During Lent (reconvening on February 21, 2021), we will focus on Messiah, Part 2: the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus; and Part 3: anticipating the redemption of the world.
Elder Peggy Heely
Elder Peggy Heely
Maestro Lawrence Loh
Maestro Lawrence Loh

We will use as our study guide, Hallelujah: The Bible and Handel’s Messiah, by Dr. Carol M. Bechtel, Professor of Old Testament at Western Theological Seminary. This resource contains overviews of principal Scriptures from Messiah and appendices with musical terms and the complete libretto from the oratorio. Each chapter includes the historical and contextual background for the biblical passages that will be the basis of weekly discussions.

Please join us for this opportunity to strengthen our faith for the times in which we live. To order your copy of Hallelujah: The Bible and Handel’s Messiah, please contact the church office.

Note: This study will meet virtually via Zoom videoconferencing until further notice due to the COVID-19 countermeasures.

Also, please note: No Christian Education classes will occur on Sunday, November 29. Classes resume on December 6 and continue through December 20, when our study of Part 1 concludes. Our study of Parts 2 and 3 begins on February 21, 2021.