Thursday, February 13, 2020

Burying the Alleluja 2020

Our regular readers are certainly familiar with the various customs related to the removal of the word “Alleluia” from the liturgy on Septuagesima Sunday. In the Roman liturgical books, this is done in a typically simply fashion; at the end of Vespers of the previous Saturday, “Alleluia” is added twice to the end of “Benedicamus Domino” and “Deo gratias”, which are sung in the Paschal tone. It is then dropped from the liturgy completely until the Easter vigil. In some medieval uses, however, “Alleluia” was added to the end of every antiphon of this Vespers, and a number of other customs, some formally included in the liturgy and others not, grew up around it as well.

One of the most popular was to write the word on a board or piece of parchment, and then afterwards Vespers bury it in the churchyard, so that it could be dug up again on Easter Sunday, and brought back into the church. Here we have three examples, if any others readers have photos of this ceremony which they would like to send in, we will be very glad to share them with our readers:

From the Monastère Saint Benoit in La Garde-Freinet, France:

From the Cofradia San Juan Bautista (Confraternity of St John the Baptist) at Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Quezon City in the Philippines:

Our first ever “domestic church” contribution for this, from the Waller family of Raleigh, North Carolina – tradition will always be for the young!

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