Sunday, April 8, 2012

H is for ... Hallelujah!

How's my mental health today?

It's Easter - the highlight of the Christian calendar. There will be lots of music, praise and worship today. G.F. Handel's 'Hallelujah Chorus' will be sung and heard by many.

The church I grew up in has developed the tradition of inviting everyone in the congregation to come up to the choir loft and participate in singing the Hallelujah Chorus to conclude the Easter morning service. It is a stirring celebration of Christ's resurrection.

I wonder how many people know what hallelujah means. I went online and found many lengthy definitions and word origin explanations. Here's one that I got from:
Hallelujah, Halleluyah, or Alleluia, is a transliteration of the Hebrew word  (Standard Hallluya, Tiberian Halllûyāh) meaning "[Let us] praise  Yah ." It is found mainly in the book of Psalms and has a similar pronunciation in many, but not all, languages. The word is used in Judaism as part of the Hallel prayers, and in Christian praise.
I have been involved in performances of this Chorus many times; as a violinist and violist in orchestras accompanying choirs, and as both a tenor and a baritone in choirs in High School, at church, and at Bible College. I have also found many renditions of Hallelujah that I enjoy. My favorites include the three below.

Leonard Cohen wrote his own 'Hallelujah'. Kelley Mooney wrote her own lyrics to Cohen's tune; lyrics more fitting to the Good Friday and Easter story.

Popular Christian singers presented a more contemporary version of Handel's Hallelujah in an album called 'The New Young Messiah'.

Andre Rieu also includes Hallelujah in his traveling show's repertoire.

Christ is Risen! He is risen indeed!

For the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth.
The kingdom of this world is become 
the kingdom of our Lord, and of His Christ; 
And He shall reign for ever and ever,
King of kings, and Lord of lords,


  1. I didn't know what hallelujah meant, though the definition fits with my idea of it. Thanks for that information! I hope you have a wonderful Easter.

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse, co-host of the 2012 #atozchallenge! Twitter: @AprilA2Z

  2. Loved this post. Thank you for the definition. May you have a blessed Easter!