Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Don't forget to "bury the Alleluia!"

When I was a catechist in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) atrium, one of the childrens' favorite activities before Lent was to "bury the Alleluia."

We gave the kids 8" x 4" slips of paper with the word "Alleluia" printed on them, along with a variety of water color pencils and metallic pencils -- items not often available in the atrium -- and they were encouraged to decorate the word and make it look beautiful.

After decorating, we placed all of the alleluias in a large jar, which we then sealed.  If the weather was nice, we went outside and dug a hole, then literally buried the alleluias.  If the ground was frozen, we would cover the jar with a purple cloth then place the cloth and jar in a special place in the church near the tabernacle.  The buried Alleluias reappeared on Easter Sunday.

Although my kids have "aged out" of the  of the CGS program at our local atrium, they still ask if we can "bury the Alleluia."  So I came up with a way we could observe this practice at home. I painted some wooden letters and a box with gold paint. This is the result:

 I display the letters on Mardi Gras and leave them out overnight.  Then, on Ash Wednesday, we say "goodbye" to the Alleluia by singing a song or two with the word "Alleluia" in it while we carefully place the letters in our gold box.  I usually wrap the letters in white tissue paper but I ran across some cheesecloth in my craft supply, so think I will use that instead (to represent Jesus' burial cloth).

We then put the gold box away in a dark closet.  It will reappear on Easter Sunday on top of one of our cabinets...

Or near our tomb...

We then leave the Alleluia out for all of the Easter season.

Do you have a custom of "burying the Alleluia?"  If so, please tell us about it in the comment box below!

1 comment:

  1. I love this tradition and how you "bury" it in the wooden box!