Alleluia! Song of Gladness - Rev. Scott Haynes

Alleluia! Song of Gladness - Rev. Scott Haynes
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Alleluia! Song of Gladness, Arranged by Rev. Scott A. Haynes, SJC
Hymn for the Burial of the Alleluia

8.5" x 11" page size, 8 pages

Version for Choir, Organ, Brass Quintet and Timpani by Rev. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C. This is the Choral Score. Scores for Conductor and Instrumental Parts are available through the links below.

This is a digital download (PDF) with a print license. After completeing your order you will receive a link via email to download the pdf and your print license.

Additional Scores:

Conductor Score for Alleluia! Song of Gladness as a Digital Download PDF File

Instrumental Parts for Alleluia! Song of Gladness as a Digital Download PDF File

“Burial of the Alleluia”

In the language of prayer, some words need no translation. “Amen” is such a word, a Hebrew word of assent meaning “so be it,” by which a congregation affixes its signature, if you will, to the official prayer of the Church. The Greek “Kyrie eleison” (i.e., “Lord, have mercy”) is our cry for mercy; it needs no translation. “Alleluia” is a word familiar to all Christendom, whether the language of the local liturgy is Latin or Greek, Spanish or Ukrainian, Polish or English. It is the Latinized form of Hebrew’s “Hallelujah” (i.e., “Praise the Lord”). In the West, we associate “Alleluia” with the joy of Christ’s Resurrection.

Consequently, the Church buries the “Alleluia” while we put on the ashes and sackcloth of penance. During the Middle Ages, the practice of “burying the Alleluia” before Easter was enhanced by a popular ritual guided by the choir boys. We find a description of it in the fifteenth-century statute book of the church of Toul, France: “...all choir boys gather in the prepare for the burial of the ‘Alleluia.’ After the last “Benedicamus Domino,’ they march in procession, with crosses, tapers, holy water and censers; and they carry a coffin, as in a funeral. Thus they proceed through the aisle, moaning and mourning, until they reach the cloister. There they bury the coffin; they sprinkle it with holy water and incense it; whereupon they return to the sacristy by the same way.” And the joyous hymn that has
accompanied the burial of the “Alleluia,” since the tenth century is, “Alleluia, dulce carmen” (i.e., “Alleluia, Song of Gladness”).

This burial of the “Alleluia” was nicknamed the “deposition” (i.e., “the giving on deposit”). Curiously enough, gravestones in Christian cemeteries traditionally had the inscription “Depositus,” or simply “D,” to indicate a Christian’s burial. When this term indicates the burial of the “Alleluia” or of the faithful departed, the Christian belief in resurrection is clear. Whether we bury one marked with the sign of faith, or whether we are entering into the fasting of Lent, we do not silence our tongues because of despair or permanent loss. Rather, we do so with confidence that what has been deposited into the earth—our dead, our “Alleluia”—will rise again.

Yet in this period of penitential preparation, we remain keenly aware of the mystery of sin and of our exile from the place where “Alleluia” abounds. So until we return to the “New Jerusalem,” let us not forget the sin that continues to devastate our world and our mission to heal what has been broken. “We desist from saying Alleluia,” the song chanted by angels, because we have been excluded from the company of the angels on account of Adam’s sin. In the Babylon of our earthly life we sit by the streams, weeping as we remember Sion. For as the children of Israel in an alien land hung their harps upon the willows, so we too must forget the “Alleluia” song in the season of sadness, of penance, and bitterness of heart.”

--Fr. Scott A. Haynes, S.J.C.

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