Illustration: 1872 Hallelujah Chorus’ Custom
On March 23, 1743, when “The Messiah” was first performed in London, the king was present in the great audience. It is reported that all were so deeply moved by the “Hallelujah Chorus” that with the impressive words, “For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth,” the whole audience, including the king sprang to its feet, and remained standing through the entire chorus. From that time to this it has always been the custom to stand during the chorus whenever it is performed. It has been said that: “With spontaneous joy the soul stands to salute Him who “cometh in the name of the Lord.” He is “King of kings, and Lord of lords” and to Him we pledge allegiance”.
(Tan, P. L. (1996, c1979). Encyclopedia of 7700 illustrations : A treasury of illustrations, anecdotes, facts and quotations for pastors, teachers and Christian workers. Garland TX: Bible Communications.)