Alleluia

Sonorous harmonies and straightforward rhythms make this work an attractive choir for a wide variety of uses. Excellent for groups looking to explore close harmonies, unification of vowels, and musical phrasing. Moderate vocal ranges and an optional descant allow this sophisticated sounding piece to be within reach of many ensembles.

Also available for SATB, piano.

Alleluia refers to a liturgical chant in which that word is combined with verses of scripture, usually from the Psalms. This chant is commonly used before the proclamation of the Gospel.

The Hebrew word Halleluya as an expression of praise to God was preserved, untranslated, by the Early Christians as a superlative expression of thanksgiving, joy, and triumph. Thus it appears in the ancient Greek Liturgy of St. James, which is still used to this day by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and, in its Syriac recension is the prototype of that used by the Maronites. In the Liturgy of St. Mark, apparently the most ancient of all, we find this rubric: “Then follow let us attend, the Apostle, and the Prologue of the Alleluia.” The “Apostle” is the usual ancient Eastern title for the Epistle reading, and the “Prologue of the Alleluia” would seem to be a prayer or verse before Alleluia was sung by the choir. It has been suggested that the acclamation arises from and is an onomatopoeic translation of the African tradition of ululation.[1]

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