Book… thanks. It took me back to my Freshman year in college. Although only with the Glee Club for that year, the Handel performance was a highlight. It’s a beautiful and uplifting piece to sing, even for this Jew. Though my favorite organ/chorale piece is the Navy Hymn, this Hallelujah chorus is a close second.
The church I attended all through high school had a lovely balcony that wrapped around above the entire church floor except for the side with the alter. Every year at Easter a professional choir would take to the balcony to sing the Messiah and the congregation would fill the pews below and sing right along. The effect was beyond description. This is still the finest piece of music ever written.