Joy Dare Monday: Holy Week ... and Alleluias

This past week I became aware of one of the disadvantages of being in the choir -- no, it wasn't the fact we sang at 4 services 4 days in a row -- but that as a choir member, we never let go of the Alleluia, which is not supposed to be said during Lent, as we spend the time practicing Easter songs.

We sang it a lot. (Given that one of our Easter anthems was Handel's "Hallejulah Chorus" and as a soprano I sing it 40 times in 4 minutes, that isn't an understatement!)

I found that even in my morning prayers, I kept chanting the alleluia part to the opening sentence. During last week, that really bugged me. I couldn't not say the "A-word" for even a week? Why could I not keep this small rule as a reminder of why the coming Easter was such a transformative moment for the world, for me? And why was it bugging me this year, where in past years I practically reveled having choir dispensation to sing that word?

Alleluia means "Praise the Lord".

Isn't this what we do as part of the Joy Dare, day in and day out, week in and week out? We've continued to praise through the dark time of Lent, and the darker time of Holy Week, as we walk with Jesus to the cross.

Isn't this dare of writing down one thousand gifts, and more, about being able to cry "Alleluia" in our darkest times? To find God-with-us in our mourning and our goodbyes?

Good Friday, cross venerated by Catholics and Episcopalians using rose petals
One of my favorite songs is Leonard Cohen's "Hallejulah", and it's this verse in the Jeff Buckley version that breaks my heart, brings me into the heart of God's compassion for us and into the heart of the lost souls, because I've been lost too.
Maybe there's a God above 
But all I've ever learned from love 
Was how to shoot somebody who outdrew you 
And it's not a cry that you hear at night 
It's not somebody who's seen the light 
It's a cold and it's a broken Hallelujah
Perhaps not such a disadvantage after all. It's a quiet revolution, to refuse the liturgical rule and dare to whisper it in our deepest dark. How else will we find the light and the way out?

So alleluia, hallejulah, all the blessed way.

Last week's gifts:

233. sleeping through the night together
234. the bus driver remembering me
235. wisteria - wow!

236. yoga on my own
237. decaying rose

238. hyperventilating at the end of an Easter anthem
239. singing What Wondrous Love is This in the round, with strings, while a helicopter beats over the church #spooky #itsholyweek
240. full moon after choir practice

241. heavenly scent of jasmine during yoga
242. getting the last Hot Cross buns at the bakery
243. spotting a bunch of yoga classmates at the grocery store
244. Jesus Christ Superstar - Gethsemane gives me chills
245. a guy abandoning his lunch to stand on a chair and take a group photo (or 10)
246. trees full of red blooms

247. perfect dandelion globes - in our front yard
248. washing Kim's feet and having her wash mine
249. throwing a handful of dirt onto where we buried the consecrated bread and wine
250. the counter-tenor's voice rising in the cathedral space
251. pizza and conversation
252. a key that wouldn't come out of the lock, and a lock that wouldn't lock (and meanwhile warm-ups are starting)
253. rose petals on cross, on thorny crown

254. chanting Holy Saturday Lauds while hubby practices the Hallejulah chorus upstairs.
255. wrestling with alleluia
256. telling God-stories around the fire (Easter Vigil)

257. sermon: Jesus' commandments all mean being in relationship with God and each other
258. sitting in the squeakiest chair of the choir loft (while people silently process in)

259. getting the giggles as we rearranged the procession line. again.
260. chills as we sang
261. swallows/finches doing aerobatics catching bugs

Hey, fellow Joy Dare-ers: would you pray for me this week as I prepare to lead Ann's DVD book study? Mainly that I will not be flippant or goofy which are both "defense mechanisms" for me in avoiding vulnerability.

PS. Last week I did some art journaling about Holy Week. I'm hoping to post the finished pages, well, probably Tuesday or Wednesday at the rate I'm going. I'm still working on the Good Friday page and have Saturday and Sunday to go. Just in case you wanna peek at the rest ....

Joining in Ann Voskamp's:

and Ann's:

Linking up with Jennifer's #TellHisStory


  1. Leanne,
    Taking a walk through your site! Beautiful!! Love how you've shared some of your dialy gifts. It was a great reminder to me to slow down and appreciate all He blesses us with each and every day.
    Blessings to you.
    Thank you for your kind comment on one of my recent posts through Jennifer's #TellHisStory.

  2. This was my first weekend with the choir at my new church. What a way to start. Ha. I did 4 services in 3 days but I know that's not typical. It was truly a blessing despite the long hours. God is faithful.

  3. First weekend?! Wow, that's an initiation! I love Holy Week and even though it feels like I'm spending far too much time away from home ... I wouldn't do it if I didn't love it and it was just magical this year...

    You should have it pretty easy now until Advent :) Blessings!

  4. To dare to whisper it though is s brave! And what a lovely thought, telling stories of God around a fire.


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