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Impressive Video: Flash Mob Sings Handel's Hallelujah and Gets 8 Million Views

By John Ritchie   
December 09, 2011

Surprise Rendition of Handel’s Hallelujah Wows Shoppers

Unsuspecting shoppers at Macy’s were dazzled by a surprise rendition of Handel’s “Hallelujah” chorus on October 30 in Philadelphia.  When the 650 choristers, accompanied by the Wanamaker organ -- the largest organ in the world -- finished singing the Christmas classic, the mall erupted with applause.

The timeless beauty of good music left its mark.  “We are all drawn a little bit closer to heaven when we hear this played and sung,” said one of the 8 million people who later saw footage of the event.

The video has 5,000 more comments.

Another added:  “The Church at one time used to be in the center of the marketplace. The Church was central to the culture with various forms of art. So as you look at what took place at Macy’s, it is not a far cry from how the Church used to be accepted.”

One more: “There is a certain lack of beauty in much of today’s music, as well as a lack of dignity. By the way, have you noticed how little of today’s music is beautiful? It’s cool, funky, raw, radical, jazzy, upbeat -- but not beautiful.”

A Living Tradition

King George II
King George II

The crown jewel of Handel’s Messiah is the “Hallelujah” chorus, which highlights passages of the New Testament. In concert halls around the word, audiences always stand up for the “Hallelujah.” This long-standing tradition originated when the Messiah premiered in London in the presence of King George II.  When the first chords of the chorus began, the king rose and remained standing.

Royal protocol has it that whenever a monarch stands, those in his or her presence should also stand as a sign of respect.  Therefore, on this occasion, both the audience and the orchestra stood with the king.

Why did the king stand?  The king’s gesture acknowledged Handel’s great musical genius.  But more importantly, King George II rose for a higher reason.  Standing for the majestic strains of “King of kings, Lord of lords,” he was accepting his place as a subject of the King of kings.

The beautiful tradition has endured for two centuries.

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Myung-whun Chung of South Korea conducts the "Hallelujah" in Santa Maria della
Minerva Catholic Church, Rome.  The rendition is fast but still wonderful.

Sir Colin Davis conducts the London Symphony Orchestra and the Tenebrae Choir

Please share your comments with us.

Last Updated ( February 12, 2013 )


+20 # music fan 2010-12-02 16:41
Simply fantastic!!! This is real music. It uplifts the soul and mind.
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+22 # Mikey 2010-12-10 16:14
Indeed this is actually music. Most of what we hear today is just noise, not music.
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+18 # Walter G. Chavez 2010-12-24 12:33
Beautiful, Glory be to God
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+17 # Paulette Blakeman 2010-12-25 09:57
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+13 # JOSEPH J. LAW 2010-12-28 12:21
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+12 # James Cleary 2010-12-28 19:31
This was wonderful! Great to pass on to everyone. The word,"Hallelujah", literally means,"Praise Jahweh"(God the Father). The music is Joyful, proving once again, that He does inhabit His Praises. One question, however, were those women who appeared to be wearing red horns in the first segment, were they Macy employees? And who wears red horns during Christmas shopping? Anybody know?
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+11 # RACHEL VALENCIA 2010-12-29 12:25
It's all over face book! posted and reposted.
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+12 # Roland Ib-ib 2011-01-07 05:42
It's my pleasure to be part of the success of TFP Student Action: Defending moral values on campus.... God bless...
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+15 # Janice 2011-01-11 17:07
Although it was after Christmas when I came upon this site, it has lifted my spirits and helped me to realize how Praise of God does lift our spirits.

Thank you, bless you today and all of your days. Janice
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+13 # Bernadette 2011-12-03 09:18
I guess I'm going soft as I get older, but I immediately begin to weep whenever I hear this piece of music! Not only is the melody itself heavenly, the WORDS are what choke me up. To see what the composer suffered before writing his great oratorio, "Messiah", please try to view a great old movie from the 1940's called "The Great Mr. Handel" which also shows that this masterpiece of music debuted in Dublin, not London as is stated. Happy Advent Season to everyone, for "...the kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of Our Lord and of His Christ...and HE shall reign forever and ever! Hallelujah!"
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+14 # Rachel J. Valencia 2011-12-03 09:50
i CAN'T BELIEVE MY NAME IS UP THERE. I commented in 2010 and here I am AGAIN! THANK YOU LORD for another yr and blessed are my ears that hear this absolutely BEAUTIFUL rendition of YOU!
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+14 # sharon taylor 2011-12-04 18:30
So glad to hear this. It's one of my favorites and it gives me hope that maybe the restoration of Western Christian Civilization can be a reality. Thank you for such a wonderful presentation.
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+18 # sharon taylor 2011-12-04 18:33
Thank you for such a wonderful presentation. Gives me hope that the once great Western Christian Civilization can be restored.
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+12 # Jo Ann Scamardo 2011-12-13 13:43
Kudos to the people of Philadelphia. It gave me such joy, personally, to see, I'm sure, thousands of people, shopping in that huge mall, joining the chorus and singing their hearts out to God. We know, now, that we can win the war for Christianity and people of other faiths, who try to live their religion, sincerely, the way it is supposed to be lived in the eyes of God.

I joined in the applause with all the shoppers. Again, congratulations Philadelphia and to you, who put this on the internet to give us all hope for the future of our country and the world.
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+10 # Peggy 2011-12-13 16:58
Absolutely beautiful and breathtaking music! It gave me so much joy listening to it!
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+9 # Angie 2011-12-13 20:26
I love it ;)"When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on. "
~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
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+10 # Doug 2011-12-13 23:22
Simply joyous and beautiful. Tears of joy wept for the Glory of God.
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+9 # Marlene Rowe 2011-12-14 00:33
I loved it...could listen to it for hours. Really touches a person's heart!
Marry Christmas, everyone! May God be blessed~
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+8 # Tout 2011-12-14 00:45
Thanks, and thanks for this performance. It is so beautiful ! Will always be beautiful. Thanks to all.
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+10 # Scott Montgomery 2011-12-14 19:43
If there is a piece of music that captures the power and majesty of God better than this one, I haven't heard it. The Hallelujah Chorus of Handel's Messiah is a love song for our Lord Jesus Christ that can melt the coldest of hearts and lift souls to Heaven! Mr. Handel has given us a genuine treasure of Western culture; and for that, millions of Christians can be truly grateful.
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+7 # Lita Songco 2011-12-14 23:04
Jesus is the real reason why Christmas is being celebrated. I love the idea of singing and praising God in all places specially the shopping centers who started de-Christianizing the season due to commercial reason. It is about time we educate everyone why we celebrate CHRIST...MASS!!!
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0 # Tout 2012-12-26 11:57
Send only Christmas cards with Nativity scene to anyone.Thus you evangelize.
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+5 # Mahone 2011-12-15 18:10
Just beautiful,I love it!!
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+6 # Donna 2011-12-16 18:58
Yes,this is real music that feels one with hope,love and faith that this country will see it's way back. I wish I had been there.
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+4 # sharon sumampong 2011-12-26 22:08
Handel's Hallelujah gives us deeper faith and hope to stand up after typhoon Sendong wrecked lives in Cagayan & Iligan, Phil.
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+5 # eileen m romano 2011-12-27 08:59
St. Augustine said "when we sing, we pray
twice". I am sure the Father was pleased looking down from Heaven, to see His creatures preparing for their time in eternity when His praises will be sung continuously forever and ever. We were made for Heaven, and this is just a tiny foretaste of our presence there. We have a choice....."to make Heaven of Hell...."
Thanks so much for insuring "HOPE" in this age where there is little signs of true hope in our Western civilization. Eileen Romano
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0 # Bill Brown 2012-12-25 14:37
awesomely speechless
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0 # pricelfe 2012-12-25 18:48
This is the first time I have heard this. Have to agree with the prior comment. Have always learned that when you sing you pray twice. When in school in Omaha, one of the blessings of the season was to go to the Orpheum and hear the free concert every Christmas of Handel's Messiah. GOD IS TRULY WITH US
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0 # Bonnie 2012-12-25 21:02
The best Christmas present ever! Thank you and Merry Christmas.
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0 # Marylou 2012-12-25 21:56
This is not only beautiful music but a magnificent prayer of praise and adoration of God almighty who really deserves it all from us, his children on earth. May the spirit of peace and joy of Christmas prevail in our hearts always. God bless us all!
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0 # Ace 2012-12-26 14:30
The sound of heartfelt joy and thanksgiving.
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0 # Peter Lepre 2012-12-26 23:43
May we never lose site of the Divine!!! Thank you for sending Handel's Messiah to me ... Christmas blessings, and God's Hope and Grace this New Year...God bless, Peter Lepre
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0 # Eleanor Houston 2012-12-28 19:14
I have the privilege of singing Handel's messiah, as a soprano in the chorus, every year at Massey hall in Toronto. We always sing the Hallelujah twice. The last time is at the end, where we almost take the roof off, as over two thousand people sing with great gusto. It always makes my heart sing every time I am part of it or listening to others sing it. God bless!
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