This Sunday is Palm Sunday and we will then pass through the darkness of Holy Week to the light of Easter. One of the things that we “fast” from during Lent is the use of the word “Alleluia” or “Hallelujah”. I explained this to the children back at the beginning of Lent and have been amazed by how they have understood and observed this restriction.
The thing is that they sing all the time, both hymns and songs they’ve learned and songs that they improvise. Alleluia is a feature in many of them. They understand that it is a word of praise to God and sing it with enthusiasm yet for the past forty days they have refrained. I didn’t ask them to, they just listened to my explanation of things that we do in Lent and have chosen not to sing it. In fact it made it a little difficult to teach them Easter hymns until I explained that when we were practicing a new hymn we could sing Alleluia.
I am glad that they are beginning to understand that what we believe effects our practice of life not just our practice of religion. They are starting to understand that we must choose to allow our beliefs to change our way of living and I think that the “Allelluia Fast” is a simple stepping stone to understanding that faith must also transform the way that we interact with one another. After all if faith can effect such simple things as the use of a word how much more should it effect our relational interactions?