“Farewell to Alleluia”

This coming Sunday, March 2 is the last Sunday before the Season of Lent begins.  It seems to me that the words of OP Kretzman published in The Pilgrim when he was President of Valparaiso University still apply today.  He wrote concerning the tradition in many Christian liturgical church do not sing the word “Alleluia” during the season of Lent.  This Sunday will be the last time we at Christ Our Savior of the Valley Lutheran will sing “Alleluia” until Easter morning.  My prayer is that you will have a faith renewing Lenten season.  You are invited to join us for Ash Wednesday worship at 12:00 noon or 7:00 p.mservices which include the Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion.

“The last Hallelujah dies away in chapel and cathedral, and while the echo still lingers among the rafters, the violet paraments of sorrow are placed upon the altar… It will be Easter morning before the Hallelujah is heard again…

There is wisdom in this… It is another and profound difference between the Church and the world… The world never willingly abandons joy… Her votaries hang on to happiness with all the strength they have – until, inevitably, it is taken away from them… They have forgotten that the line of life must sometimes go down into the darkness of sorrow… It is never easy, but it is better to go down willingly than to be driven down like a slave… To give up joy by the strength of Him who gave up heaven si a part of the way by which joy and heaven will return… Easter can come only to the heart that has known Lent…

The shadow which clings to all earthly good when it seen in the light of faith is inevitable… Because of this the Christian view of life “appears” so much darker than the pagan – checkered with a darkness more intense the brighter the light of faith shines upon it… But the farewell to Hallelujah, though necessary, is only temporary… It springs from the strong compulsions of the dust from which we came and the stronger compulsions of the everlasting mercy which has lifted us from the dust… When all is said and done, Christianity is a religion of deeper gladness just because it is a religion of deeper fear and greater sorrow… The Cross remains the world climax of divine and human sorrow, ineffably distant and ineffably close, the sorrow of sin and the pain of man’s long and lonely separation from God…

So it is good that our Hallelujahs are silent for a little time… In their stead appear the crow of thorns, the drops of blood, the way of mourning, the five wounds, and the sound of our hands driving nails… And on Eastern Morn our returning Hallelujahs will say that our Lord arose and ascended into heaven, that He is now the King of Glory, who has given us a share in both His suffering and His victory, in His passion and His power, in His former pain and in Hi present peace… (*The Pilgrim*)

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