Will you bury your “Alleluia” this year? – FOLLOW UP

alleluiaUPDATE 7 Feb 2017:

Well, we’re gonna do it.   On Septuagesima Sunday we will bury the Alleluia right after the Asperges.

Also, we will have a Solemn Mass.

7:30 AM 12 February at St. Mary’s in Pine Bluff, WI.

Be there, or be … somewhere else!

Originally Published on: Jan 24, 2017 ___

The first of the Pre-Lent Sundays, Septuagesima, is rapidly approaching.  Rather, we are rapidly approaching Septugesima.   In pre-Lent we get ourselves in order for a fruitful and serious Lenten fast, more works of mercy, greater introspection, and a stem to stern holy stoning.

You might consider, in your parishes, preparing to “bury the Alleluia”.

As you know, we don’t sing “Alleluia” from Septuagesima onward.  Of yore there were ceremonies to mark the exemption of the “A-Word” including an entombment a decorated, symbolic word.

Here is one pic from a while back of a parish digging the dirt and sending the A-Word six feet under.

And the wonderful singing, vestment making nuns, the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles in Missouri (they have a great music CD for Lent, by the way), also sent “Al” on his way.

16_01_24_Alleluia_01 16_01_24_Alleluia_02  16_01_24_Alleluia_04

C’mon.  Be trads!  Get your parish priests up to speed, make plans, offer to do all the work and preparations and bury your Alleluia!


(I just thought I’d get that in there in case you haven’t gone lately.)

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. jskelley says:

    Before becoming a regular leader of this blog, I had never known that the burying of the Alleluia was actually a traditional Catholic practice. At least where I live, it has been largely abandoned by the Catholic parishes and use mainly in evangelical Protestant churches.

  2. Mike of Arkansas says:

    “C’mon. Be trads!”

    Gosh…I never heard even a hint of such a practise in the pre-Vatiican II parishes with which I was familiar and active. The custom sounds whimsical, and perhaps just a little contrived in a bizarre sort of way.

    [You haven’t heard of it, but it is whimsical, contrived, bizarre? Ooops.]

    [Some lines from a 10th c. Sequence written for the depositio of the Alleluia… perhaps you could offer a non-whimsical rendering into English?
    Cantemus cuncti melodum nunc Alleluia.
    In laudibus aeterni regis haec plebs resultet Alleluia.
    Hoc denique coelestes chori centent in altum Alleluia.
    Hoc beatorum per prata paradisiaca psallat concentus Alleluia.
    Quin est astrorum micantia luminaria jubilent altum Alleluia.
    Nubium cursus, ventorum volatus, fulgurum coruscatio et tonitruum sonitus dulce consonent simul Alleluia.

  3. jskelley says:


  4. mo7 says:

    That’s great, the seasons of the church are just marvelous and keep us always attentive to all the aspects of our faith. But honestly, whilst you have that hole open, would you mind burying a few other hymns of much more recent vintage? – you know the ones I mean – never to be dug up again.

  5. frival says:

    I wonder what arrangements must be made in our farther northern climes for this event, where Septuagesima arrives to ground frozen solid. Do we, perhaps, use the liturgical backhoe or is the poor sacristan left only with the original, traditional, shovel? This is one case, I think, where it would be understandable for some in the Church to offer thanks (and probably one last Alleluia) for a little global warming.

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  7. L. says:

    In my parish, we bury the Alleluia every Sunday- in bad music.


    Fr. Z's Gold Star Award

  8. Venerator Sti Lot says:


    Something with hot coals to thaw a sufficient depth of soil?

    Or something sarcophagal within the Church?

  9. APX says:

    We missed it last year and ran it past our priest to do this year and he was all for it. Sadly, he was transferred, and our new priest isn’t particularly interested in the idea (the fact that the ground is now frozen solid and buried in more than a foot of snow probably won’t help change his mind.

  10. JesusFreak84 says:

    My parish doesn’t bury it because we’re Ukrainian-Greek Catholic ;p (This actually took more getting used to for me than you might expect!)

  11. edm says:

    I have also heard of burying the Alleluia in the Baptismal Font, but, I don’t know if this is an Anglican thing.

  12. APX says:

    I have also heard of burying the Alleluia in the Baptismal Font

    You mean like bury it in the sand and cacti that fills the baptismal font after it’s drained of Holy Water for Lent while singing “By the Rivers of Babylon”?

  13. edm says:

    Actually a scroll with the word done nicely in script on parchment, placed in a small chest and deposited in the bowl of the font, then replacing the cover on the font.

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