Alleluia Cannot Always Be our Song

Calling all Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, and Catholics!

Recently, a Lutheran music minister, friend, and blog reader asked me to write a litany for his church–a litany for the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, when many churches engage in the ancient practice of bidding farewell to the word “alleluia” during the season of Lent. Without the word “alleluia” in Lent, the church is given space to explore a new vocabulary, one which is honest about the suffering of the world and the solemnity of Lent.

I wrote this litany with the Lutheran hymn “Alleluia Song of Gladness” in mind, and you can view the words and music here.

The litany is written to be said responsively during worship, but I hope that it speaks to all who read it individually as well. What word will replace your “alleluia” during Lent?

—-

We heard an angel speak to Mary, and we sang “alleluia.”

We saw Jesus heal a leper, and his gasp was “alleluia.”

We have seen grace. We have seen good. We have shouted “alleluia!”

But alleluia cannot always be our song.

We see Jesus betrayed and broken, and we hear no alleluia.

We see ourselves betrayed and broken, and we have no alleluia.

We know suffering. We see sadness. We shout out in silence.

Alleluia cannot always be our song.

In Lent, we journey towards the cross, and we leave behind our “alleluia.”

Today, we bury our alleluia, and silence fills its place.

     Silence

Silence will not always be our song.

On Easter, we will once again claim our “alleluia!”

We will hear that the tomb is empty, and we will shout out “alleluia!”

We will see our risen Lord, and he will look like “alleluia.”

But alleluia cannot always be our song.

Today, we bury our alleluia, and silence fills its place.

     Silence. 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s