There’s something timeless about Handel’s Messiah. Just before Thanksgiving a while back, a group of singers in Ontario staged a flash mob rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus in the food court of a local mall. They posted their performance on YouTube and as of this writing, it has amassed 38,759,328 views, which, according to sources, is the record for flash mob videos. If you’ve never seen the performance, be prepared for a treat.

In particular, watch the spectators’ faces – the sense of wonder in the eyes of the kids – as they realize they’re witnessing something truly incredible. To better enjoy the experience, click on your screen's full-frame option.

Just days earlier, the Opera Company of Philadelphia had brought together over 650 choristers from 28 participating organizations to perform at Macy’s Department Store in Philadelphia. Accompanied by the Wanamaker Organ – the world’s largest pipe organ – the singers infiltrated the store as shoppers, and burst into the Hallelujah Chorus to the delight of surprised shoppers.

A favorite on YouTube, it has racked up more than 7 million views. Visitors’ comments are joyous: “Mr. Handel must have been dancing with joy in heaven when this event was taking place,” wrote Daniel Kubacki. “Agreed,” responded Jewell Markess. “I grew up in the Soviet Union, and am a completely secular ethnically Jewish woman, but I sang in Handel’s Messiah chorus in a cathedral once. Great art transcends one’s beliefs or lack thereof or origin.”

Here’s the Macy's Philadelphia flash mob, which started it all. Again, be amazed at the crowd’s reaction. Remember that this performance was completely unannounced. Spectators are just shoppers who happened to be in the store. Watch their faces – their sense of wonder – and how so many join in singing.

The phenomenon then spread worldwide. Here are some of the best. No, not all of the videos are as professional. But it is so extraordinary

to hear the Lord’s praises breaking out all over America! And Canada! Glasgow, Scotland! And here’s the good news! It’s happening again. This one happened in a supermarket in Calne, Wiltshire, England just a few months ago:

Here’s a performance in a mall in Dublin, Ireland!

And here is a similar event in Ludington, Michigan!

Kansas City!

Westfield, Derby, England!

Manchester, Connecticut!

Mishawaka, Indiana!

Tucson, Arizona!

And Cleveland, Ohio!

Kingston, Ontario, Canada!

Nashua, New Hampshire!

In Glasgow, Scotland!

And here is a spin-off that’s just a lot of fun – “silent monks” in a high school skit, performing the Hallelujah Chorus one more time:

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