Notes from the Music Desk (February 27)

(Alleluia art print by Jen Norton, whose works can be viewed and purchased here.)


Organ Voluntaries:

  • Prelude and Fugue in C Major - Georg Böhm
  • Paean - Kenneth Leighton



  • The Lord is My Light and My Salvation - Stephen Sturk

  • Fraction Anthem



  • How Lovely Is Thy Dwelling Place - Carl Schalk



  • Jesus on the mountain peak
  • 133 O Light of Light, Love given birth
  • 7 Christ, whose glory fills the skies
  •  Alleluia, song of gladness


by Donald Meineke

Each year, in preparation for the great feast of Easter, the church marks our baptismal journey from death to life in the 40 days of Lent through repentance, fasting, prayer, reflection, and alms giving. We journey with Christ from the desert of temptation to the wood of the cross.

This Sunday, we bid a temporary farewell to our beloved ‘Alleluia’ as we sing it over and over one last time in our closing hymn “Alleluia, Song of Gladness” until the Great Vigil of Easter, when the three-fold 'Alleluia' bursts forth heralding the resurrection of Christ.  The ancient rite of Burying the Alleluia invites us into the mystery of God, to focus on our baptismal promises, and to ponder anew the saving acts of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Take a moment to read this article by Sharon Ely Pearson on the history and origins of Burying the Alleluia.

As we transition from the season of Epiphany (enlightenment/revelation) to the season of Lent (springtime/renewal) how does the practice of abstaining from a word that encapsulates such praise and joy relate to our ordinary lives?

We live in a society that thrives on having all the answers, instant gratification, hearing whatever truth we want to be true, and, currently, world leaders who hunger for power at any cost. To figuratively “bury the alleluia” from our lives for 40 days means we are faced to confront the relationship with ourselves, each other, the world, creation, justice and injustice, and so much more. As the third stanza of our closing hymn says:

            “Alleluia cannot always be our song while here below;
                        Alleluia our transgressions make us for a while forgo;
            for the solemn time is coming when our tears for sin shall flow.”

Yet, as people of faith, we know this is not the end of the story. We are not left to fend for ourselves and trust that God won't forsake us. While we may know trials, tribulations, and even death, we know too that there is resurrection and new life all around us each and every day.


And so may we journey faithfully to that day, when we join our voices with all the church in heaven and on earth in singing our resounding, “Alleluia!”

Recommended Listening

A setting of “Alleluia, Song of Gladness” arranged by David Ashley White performed by The Choir of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church; Houston, TX.