Performers receive the audience's applause at the conclusion of 'The Messiah' at St. Peter's Eastern Hill Melbourne, Saturday night the 4th of December. Photograph: Susan Southall.
December is soothed with Handel. Cicadas chirrup at St. Peter’s nightfall windows. After political trauma, we hear again the 18th-century magnifying Isaiah: ‘Comfort ye my people’. A voice opens in midst of confusion: ‘For behold, darkness shall cover the Earth’. Choir, players, and soloists line the transept. The furious lies of 2016, year of the word post-truth, are spoken to from another time: ‘For unto us a child is born.’ In our pews we hear the splendour of ‘Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace’, words impossible to ascribe to leaders strutting the stage these past twelve months.