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In the Revised Common Lectionary, the Transfiguration story is always read on the last Sunday of Epiphanytide.  Since Ash Wednesday comes immediately after, many congregations also “bury Alleluias” on this day, setting aside this special celebratory word which shall not be spoken nor sung in worship until the Great Vigil of Easter.  In some congregations, the word on a banner or carried by a straw figure is placed in a box, or even, literally, buried.

In 1296, Bishop William Duranti wrote: "We desist from saying 'Alleluia', the song chanted by angels, because we have been excluded from the company of the angels on account of Adam's sin. In the Babylon of our earthly life we sit by the streams, weeping as we remember Sion. For as the children of Israel in an alien land hung their harps upon the willows, so we too must forget the Alleluia song in the season of sadness, of penance, and bitterness of heart."

The prayer and the hymn posted here are both intended to help congregations celebrate the “burying” of alleluias as part of the Transfiguration liturgy.  There is another hymn, “When we proclaim Christ as God’s Son,” which is found in Rhythms of Praises: Hymn Texts by James Hart Brumm, published by Wayne Leupold Editions.

Prayers for burying our Alleluias

Where the “Alleluias” are completely in upper case, they should be shouted; where entirely in lower case, they should be whispered.

 With Peter, we proclaim Jesus to be “The Messiah of God!”


In the midst of life with you, we see the glory of your appearing.

We hear the voice from heaven:

"This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"


In the glory of Christ’s awe and majesty,

let us give thanks for God’s blessings In our life . . .

individual thanksgivings are offered


As our Lord did with Peter, Christ startles us out of our slumber.

Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Like Peter, we sometimes think our Savior is in need of our help.

Alleluia! Alleluia!

Too often, we are a faithless and perverse generation,

yet loved by God.


Aware of our weaknesses, yet trying, by grace, to do better,

let us pray for Christ’s holy Church . . .

prayers for specific congregations and ministries are offered

Let us pray for the faith of a child,

for faith to take up our crosses and follow,

for the trust to work as one, despite our different paths,

knowing whoever is not against us is for us.


Like Christ’s disciples, we follow our Lord down the mountain,

into great crowds with great needs.


We know that, if we try to save our lives, we will lose them,

but, if we lose our life for Christ, we will be saved.


Like Christ’s disciples,

we know that the Son God gave us is to be betrayed.


Confronted with the pain and injury of this world,

knowing that the world is confused

about who Christ is and who we are,

let us pray for all the people of this world . . .

individual petitions may be offered

let us pray for those who lay down their lives . . .

individual petitions

let us pray for those who lead us . . . individual petitions

let us pray for all those in special need of care and nurture . . . individual petitions

May everyone who sees us be astounded in the greatness of God.


Like the disciples, we watch our Lord and Savior:

When the days drew near for him to be taken up,

he set his face to go to Jerusalem.

And he sent messengers ahead of him.                                                            Luke 9:51-52a

Now we set aside our Alleluias

and take up our own crosses.

Be with us, O Lord.

Help us deny ourselves as you denied yourself.

Help us leave behind all that keeps us from seeing your glory.

Help us be faithful on the lonely Lenten road.

Help us walk with you into the glory of self-giving

and the unbridled joy of Resurrection.



This page was last edited on November 08, 2010
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