During these 40 days of Lent, I am offering 40 ideas (activities) to help catechists engage young people around the themes and images of this sacred season. Here is your next Lenten activity:
Bury the Alleluia
- Write the phrase “absence makes the heart grow fonder” on the board and ask if anyone can explain what it means. (we miss something or someone the longer we are without it or them)
- Point out that during the season of Lent, we do not sing the word Alleluia at Mass because it is considered an Easter word and that by not using it for 40 days, perhaps we will come to appreciate more just how joyful this acclamation is.
- Tell the young people that it is a popular custom to “bury” the Alleluia as Lent begins so that it can be “dug up” once again on Easter Sunday.
- Distribute an “Alleluia banner” that you have made (see http://eccdom.blogspot.com/2008/02/ash-wednesday-activities.html) and invite the children to color the banner.
- If you have a large group, provide a “banner” for each child or for groups of 3 or 4.
- When completed and if possible, escort your group outside to an area that has been designated by a parish staff member (DRE or pastor) to bury the Alleluia(s).
- Tell the children that for the Gospel acclamation at Mass, instead of singing Alleluia, they will sing proclamations such as “Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!” or “Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ!” or “Praise and honor to you, Lord Jesus Christ!”
- Make a reminder to “dig up” the Alleluia during Easter week.
- Tell the children to notice how, when Easter arrives, we can’t seem to sing enough Alleluias!