24 February 2009

Alleluia, dulce carmen

We buried the Alleluia this morning. At least, we sang our farewell. I'm posting some pictures from the Mass.

The box was prepared and waiting at the entrance to the church. As the students came in, each one put an "alleluia" in.
Two of our eighth grade boys carried the alleluias in the procession, and the box was placed near the altar, where it remained during Mass.

As we sang the ancient hymn "Alleluia, dulce carmen" the alleluias were taken in procession to the Lady Chapel.

The box containing the students' "alleluias" was placed before the image of Our Lady of the Atonement, where it will remain until the Easter Vigil.
Everyone was impressed with the ceremony of "Burying the Alleluia," and I'm glad we've instituted this custom as part of our preparation for Lent. I've always tried to make a big deal about "no more alleluias" when I've spoken to the children about various Lenten practices, and this really emphasizes it.

I remember a conversation I had a few years ago, just after Lent had begun, with one of our very young students. He asked if he could see me because he had to tell me something. When he came to me, he wanted to tell me what one of the other boys had done earlier that day. It sounded serious, so I encouraged him to tell me about it. In a half-whispered voice the offence was reported: "He said the 'A' word!"