Reflecting the dualities of old and new testament, darkness and light, despair and hope, Handel's famous oratorio is a beloved holiday tradition and I never miss attending a December performance. The music gets me energized for the Advent season and in touch with the magic of Christmas (of course, Messiah was composed for Easter, but nevertheless it's become a holiday tradition!).
Using text directly from the King James Bible and composed in under a month, it is Handel's most familiar work and his Hallelujah Chorus is one of the most recognizable pieces of music ever created.
To see detailed photos or the beads I have chosen to reflect lines of the oratorio please click here: Telling the Story of Handel's Messiah
Each bead and charm of the Messiah Bracelet represents a character or moment from the oratorio. Some of the most important beads and charms are described below and you can see all of the symbolic descriptions on the spiral chart photo above or to the left. Also, a story chart explaining the symbolism of the beads and charms accompanies every bracelet. Click here to see the chart.
- The comfort of the Lord is a red heart.
- A bead with a zigzag facet indicates the hills and valleys that shall be exalted and laid low.
- A clear light catching crystal symbolizes the Glory of the Lord.
- Three pewter bead clink gently together representing God "shaking the nations".
- Jesus, desire of nations is symbolized by a clear heart indicating his pure love.
- Fiery colored beads are the purifying "refiner's fire".
- The Pastoral Symphony is represented by deep blue beads of night with a Christmas star charm. Angels are sparking gold crystals.
- The Hallelujah Chorus is signified by a large sunburst bead.
- The Mystery of our redemption is an oval goldstone bead which looks black initially but when exposed to the light shows a galaxy of sparking stars.
Special charms and beads on the bracelet include:
- A dove
- Music notes
- The Nativity
- The Angel
- An angel wing
- A crown
- A sheep
- The last trumpet