A Thanksgiving Month

Sunday, October 31st, 2021     Marie Sontag     Start the Conversation

What do you do when you need a lift for your heart and soul? As we move into the cooler month of November, a time of Thanksgiving, I’m turning to Handel’s “Eternal Source of Light Divine.”

A friend recently encouraged me to listen to this piece by G.F. Handel, also known as Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne. At first pass, I couldn’t understand the words, so I looked them up. (see the first stanza below). Once I understood the words, I fell in love with the piece.

In this cantata, George Frideric Handel and Ambrose Philips compose a birthday present for Queen Anne after her administration negotiated the Treaty of Ultercht. Handel praises his patron for providing a “lasting peace on earth.” However, anyone familiar with another majestic piece by Handel can easily transfer the passion this cantata emotes for Queen Anne to the central person of Handel’s Messiah—the only One who can truly provide “lasting peace on earth.”

This cantata lifts my heart and soul. I’ve been listening to it the past several days as I cook my “Lean and Green” meals. I often go back to the words so I can appreciate the music with my mind as well as my heart!

If you want to hear a three-minute version of the first stanza only, here’s a link to a soprano soloist accompanied by saxophone and organ. The first stanza, copied below, provides the alternate title given to this cantata, “Eternal Source of Light Divine.”

Eternal source of light divine
With double warmth thy beams display
And with distinguish’d glory shine
To add a lustre to this day.

Happy Thanksgiving!



Month’s Theme: Thanksgiving Light

Month’s Words:
– “The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.” Psalm 28:7
– “Some days I find God in my joy and some days I find Him through my tears.” – Allene Vanoirschot Daddy’s Little Girl

Month’s Challenge: What’s your light this month?

Month’s Music:
– A 3-min. soprano, sax, and organ version of the first stanza: https://youtu.be/ziNf94CFbWE
– Link to the complete 27-minute orchestral version: https://youtu.be/R8ep4ok2TTY

“My Lean and Green” Recipes:

November Calendar Download:

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