Alleluia.

Catholics choose to fast from saying this word, which means “praise Yahweh” because we are saving up all of our joy and praise for the Lord on Easter Sunday.

This is actually a word we should avoid saying in the season of Lent.

What goes up should occasionally come down. Our connection with God should sometimes bring us back down to terra firma, where we live and move and love and lose and grieve and grow. We sometimes have to go inward before we can resume the journey upward. Downtime is the preparation we need for up time. A lack of celebration in Lent need not be depressing and depleting but renewing and empowering – a rebirth. From insight comes inspiration and from penitence comes to praise. Introspection can lead us to a more powerful expression, contemplation to a more heartfelt celebration, silence to a more profound “Alleluia”!

Actually, Lent is the opportunity to Teach – Us. It is the season in which we should look no further than our motives, desires, and actions, to begin to understand rather than pass judgment. Lent is the time to get “down and dirty” within ourselves, not to pass off our imperfections as the impetus of others.

Most Catholics are aware of the Lenten traditions of fasting, almsgiving, and prayer. Besides eating meat on Fridays, there are a few other things that Church says we can’t do during Lent. There is one particular word that we don’t say during this Holy season simply because of its powerful meaning. “Alleluia!”

AMEN replaces the “alleluia” during Lent. It’s a beautiful tradition of our faith. Fasting from saying “Alleluia” during the Lenten time of sacrifice and repentance helps us appreciate the depth and meaning of the word. If you go through all of Lent, but don’t experience the release of great joy with the news of the Risen Lord on Easter Sunday, then you are missing the point of this season. This practice also serves to remind us that although this life may be filled with trials, sacrifice, and struggles, there is an incredible joy that awaits us when we reach heaven.

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