Farewell to Alleluia

Source: District of Asia

On Saturday before Septuagesima Sunday (the third Sunday before Lent) this ancient and hallowed exclamation of joy and praise in the Christian liturgy is officially discontinued in the Western Church to signify the approach of the solemn season of Lent.  According to the regulation of Pope Alexander II (1073) the Alleluia is sung twice after the prayers of the Divine Office, and not heard again till the solemn vigil service of Easter, when it once more is used as a glorious proclamation of Easter joy. 

Alleluia, song of sweetness,

voice of joy that cannot die;

alleluia is the anthem

ever raised by choirs on high;

in the house of God abiding

thus they sing eternally.

Alleluia thou resoundest,

true Jerusalem and free;

alleluia, joyful mother,

all thy children sing with thee;

but by Babylon's sad waters

mourning exiles now are we.

Alleluia cannot always

be our song while here below;

alleluia our transgressions

make us for awhile forgo;

fort the solemn time is coming

when our tears for sin must flow.

Therefore in our hymns we pray thee,

grant us, blessed Trinity,

at the last to keep thine Easter,

in our home beyond the sky,

there to thee forever singing

alleluia joyfully.