"If you hold a children’s chapel on Easter, celebrate Jesus’ victory over death in a noisy, joyful way. Sing, “Alleluia,” carry your Alleluia!"
Did You Bury The Alleluias?
While we are only halfway through Lent, plans are well underway for the Easter season. If you said “goodbye” to the Alleluia(s) by burying it on the Last Sunday of the Epiphany or on Shrove Tuesday or Ash Wednesday, it is time to resurrect it! When and how do we "resurrect" the alleluia? With great fanfare and celebration!
Note: Even if you didn't bury the alleluias, you can still do one of the ideas below as part of your joyful Easter celebration.
5 Ideas for Resurrecting the Alleluias
1. Carry the Alleluia(s) in a Church Procession
If the alleluia was buried as part of church worship, then the resurrected alleluia may appropriately be carried in a festive procession during the hymn of praise or as part of the gospel procession at the Vigil of Easter or on Easter Sunday. Hearty congregational singing of multiple alleluias proclaims the resurrection, unleashing pure Easter joy.
2. Offer Alleluias at an Easter Breakfast or Fellowship Event
If the congregation buried the alleluia during a parish Mardi Gras celebration, the congregation's Easter breakfast (if it holds one) might provide the best parallel venue for resurrecting it. Several youth could carry the resurrected alleluia among the breakfasters as those gathered sing a familiar Easter hymn containing multiple alleluias such as "Jesus Christ is risen today".
3. Present the Alleluias at Children's Chapel
If you hold a children’s chapel on Easter, celebrate Jesus’ victory over death in a noisy, joyful way. Sing, “Alleluia,” carry your Alleluia banner in procession, place it on the prayer table and adorn it with flowers and colored streamers. Then talk about the kind of victory Jesus accomplished: life over death, love over hate, giving over selfishness, peace over fighting, life over death.
Let children talk about the sacrifices they made during Lent. What did they learn? How do they feel? In what ways will they continue to help and give? What favorite Holy Week stories do they have?
4. "Discover" The Alleluias After the Worship Service
After the service, a procession might lead the congregation to the place of the buried/hidden alleluias. If this is a new practice for your congregation, a paragraph of explanation will be a helpful addition to the worship bulletin.
If you’ve hidden the alleluias somewhere for the Lenten season, prepare the box/container for some amazing surprises. Secretly add some things to the box (flowers, paper butterflies, other symbols of the resurrection) so that when the container is opened, new life is discovered!
5. Make An Alleluia Banner Attached to Balloons
During the church service, carry a box with an Alleluia banner in it. As you reach the front of the church, open up the box to remove the banner, allowing helium filled balloons to float out and up in the sanctuary. Children can ring bells and should Alleluia! (Only do this inside, as releasing balloons outside is harmful to the environment.) The balloons will eventually come down for later clean-up.
Sharon Ely Pearson is a 30+ year Christian formation veteran, currently serving as an editor and the Christian Formation Specialist for Church Publishing Incorporated. Wife, mother, soon-to-be-grandmother, and author, she enjoys connecting people with each other and the resources they need for growing in the knowledge and love of Jesus.