Deacon: “Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.” (Alleluia, alleluia.)
People: “Thanks be to God.” (Alleluia, alleluia.)
Dear Friends in Christ:
This last week someone asked me a liturgical question; “When is it appropriate to place the pascal candle in the sanctuary?” I responded by saying that it depended to some extent on local custom. This seems to be the truth about a number of liturgical issues. Our current prayer book, for instance, says, “From the Easter Vigil through the Day of Pentecost,” ‘Alleluia, alleluia’ may be added to any of the dismissals.” Thus, the rubric suggests that adding Alleluia, alleluia at other times is not appropriate. However, St. Benedict told his monks to say the Alleluias at all times, except in Lent. So, what are you going to follow; the rubric in the prayer book or the admonition of St. Benedict? (In the diocese of Western Oregon it seems many congregations have decided that Benedict is the better answer!)
Good arguments can be made for either and local custom is important. Now, let us recall that saying Alleluia is something like saying, “Yea God,” “Praise God,” or even “Thank God.” As we move during this week toward Thanksgiving and then on to Advent and Christmas we might just need a bit of praise to God. The world is a very challenging place right now and we wake each day to challenging news and new challenges. To praise God from whom all blessings flow; to remind ourselves of the goodness of the divine one at this time of year seems to me to be a very good thing. And:
Let our praise of God turn us to living out that praise in the life we live each day. May we love others as we have been loved by God. May we reach out in love to our neighbors, our families and to all whom God has made. May we practice hospitality and charity and have faith in the one who loved enough to give Jesus to be our Savior and Lord.
I pray that you who are reading this may have a blessed Thanksgiving. I pray you come to know more deeply the love of God and the gift of joy and wonder in all of the works of the Lord. I pray that you are blessed by God and that you know the love of Christ Jesus. I pray you find moments of comfort in the midst of whatever troubles you and may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always whether or not you say Alleluia at the end of the service this Thanksgiving, this Sunday, or the next, or the next…