Alleluia is a word that expresses thanksgiving, triumph, and praise of God. Catholics use the word to rejoice in the Good News of the the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, freedom from sin, and the hope of Eternal Life.

Found throughout the Bible, Alleluia means, “Praise God!” Like Amen, it is such a significant and sacred word that it is not translated. The primary form of the word used in Christianity comes from the Greek but it is sometimes written as “Hallelujah” from Hebrew.

Preparing to meet Jesus in Sacred Scripture, Catholics stand and sing Alleluia at Mass along with an acclaimation immediately before the Gospel is proclaimed.

The only time that the Alleluia is suppressed is during the penitential season of Lent when the focus is on Jesus’ sacrifice. But this temporary absence only allows the Alleluia’s special significance to be highlighted at Easter.

At the Easter Vigil, the Alleluia makes a triumphant return as Jesus’ Ressurection is celebrated. The cry rings out through the Easter season and during the whole year whenever Catholics praise God and give thanks for his goodness.

Praising God in a word:

Certain constant characteristics appear throughout the Psalms: simplicity and spontaneity of prayer; the desire for God Himself through and with all that is good in his creation; the distraught situation of the believer who, in his preferential love for the Lord, is exposed to a host of enemies and temptations, but who waits upon what the faithful God will do, in the certitude of his love and in submission to his will. The prayer of the psalms is always sustained by praise; that is why the title of this collection as handed down to us is so fitting: “The Praises.” Collected for the assembly’s worship, the Psalter both sounds the call to prayer and sings the response to that call: Hallelu-Yah! (“Alleluia”), “Praise the Lord!” What is more pleasing than a psalm? David expresses it well: “Praise the Lord, for a psalm is good: let there be praise of our God with gladness and grace!” Yes, a psalm is a blessing on the lips of the people, praise of God, the assembly’s homage, a general acclamation, a word that speaks for all, the voice of the Church, a confession of faith in song.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2589

A classic expression of praise in the liturgy:

Anticipating the Good News at Mass:

The Alleluia at Mass should be sung:

A voice coming from the throne said: “Praise our God, all you his servants, [and] you who revere Him, small and great.” Then I heard something like the sound of a great multitude or the sound of rushing water or mighty peals of thunder, as they said: “Alleluia! The Lord has established his reign, [our] God, the almighty. Let us rejoice and be glad and give Him glory. For the wedding day of the Lamb has come, his bride has made herself ready.

Revelation 19: 5-7

Allowing the Alleluia to be missed:

Burying the Alleluia during Lent:

We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”

Pope John Paul II, Angelus Address, 30 November 1986

Rejoicing in news that is ancient but ever new:

Cheering because Jesus is alive and with us:

The Truth, Goodness, and Beauty of the Catholic Church

Theology and art:

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