Giving up singing “Alleluia” in Lent might be harder than giving up facebook.
(Since I don’t have a love-hate relationship with the term “alleluia”…)
My church sings a lot of contemporary praise music in Spanish & English, so we still break out the Alleluias in praise choruses, regardless of the season.
And in the car the other day, my high school choir’s recording of the “Hallelujah Chorus” came on my iPod “Feel Good Music” playlist. (I have about 18 hours of “feel-good music”… the qualification is whether it makes me happy to hear the opening three chords… “spirit-lifting” is my definitive judgment as to whether a song is good or not).
I felt a rush of joy to hear the choir alumni from the 1930s onward walking up to the stage. You can hear the alumni forget their choir manners and chatter with the high schoolers before the piano decisively bursts in, the audience hushes, and the following 3 minutes and 41 seconds of music make me forget that I’m driving — I want to stand so bad.
Giving up Alleluias is a tough thing for Methodist me.
In Evensong tonight the Episcopal Church (USA) [which I just learned you can pronounce “eh-COO-sah” (ECUSA) and not be weird] re-assured me that at least some congregations, somewhere, are dropping the Alleluias for Lent.
That is, until the choirmaster belted a big “All-“ at the end of the Eucharist.* He stopped himself one syllable in, but we knew where he was going. And it was feel-good music.
Sometimes our Alleluia just won’t leave us.
*You can tell I’m a seminarian because I just debated for a long time whether to classify the fraction as “end of” or “middle of”… I lean toward “middle” but it’s the end of the Eucharistic prayers… feel free to debate in the comments 😛