Today was Ripon Oratorio Society's presentation of Handel's Messiah. For me this IS Christmas. I'm trying to remember how many years I've sung in this - first time was 1983, so 31 years ago - but then I lived out of the area for a while and can't remember when I picked it back up again - early 90s maybe? At least one person who sings with the group has been part of it for more than 60 years. It's a tradition and more than a tradition.
David used to sing in it with me but hadn't for about 20 years. This year he joined in again, and Caleb sang too - first time ever. It's a good thing because next year (and the next 4 at least) he's out of state at college, so this was an especially special year. Mom and Dad came to listen. Brother Tim was singing to, and it was cool to have my friend Larry Dorman as bass soloist for the first time. Overall a very special day and the day of all the year that is the deepest experience of worship for me.
This was Ripon Oratorio Society's sixty-ninth presentation of Handel's Messiah.