Rorate Caeli

The Burial of the Alleluia: A Poem by a monk from San Benedetto in Monte, Norcia, Italy


The following poem was written by a monk of the Monastery of San Benedetto in Monte, Norcia, Italy.  Today is Septuagesima Sunday, the beginning of the “porch of Lent”.  This Sunday marks the “burial of the Alleluia”, when the Alleluia of the Mass is replaced by the Tract.  The very word Alleluia is also no longer heard in the chanting of the Office, until the Easter Vigil.  This poem is a wonderful gift for each of us who love the Traditional Mass to deepen our own faith as we prepare for Lent.

From every mountain, hill and vale
Let Alleluia ring!
And may each woman, man and child
This Alleluia sing!

Alas! But little time is left
With Alleluia near;
We from thee soon shall have to part,
Oh, Alleluia dear!

Until Septuagesima
Will Alleluia last;
From that grave moment on we must
From Alleluia fast.

Then, in woe we shall, bereft
Of Alleluia mourn,
And clad with deepest sorrow wail,
From Alleluia torn.

Then will our drooping eyes, deprived
Of Alleluia weep,
And we’ll in penance far away
From Alleluia keep.

Then will our days be difficult,
When Alleluia flees,
For better heaven’s realm the heart
With Alleluia sees.

In one sole manner can we with
No Alleluia cope,
If on this journey we go forth
In Alleluia’s hope.

Thus, we must always mindful be,
With Alleluia ceased,
That on that Day of days we shall
With Alleluia feast.
On that most sacred Day our mouths
Will Alleluia fill,
And joy our hearts, for nothing will
Our Alleluia kill.

Then jubilation will come forth
In Alleluia’s sounds,
And merrily repeat itself
In Alleluia rounds.

Then filled our every limb shall be
With Alleluia’s might,
And on all faces mirth shall shine
With Alleluia bright.

Then nothing will our sturdy hearts
With Alleluia fear,
When finally, after the race
We Alleluia hear.

Then, rapt in bliss, we’ll dwell secure
In Alleluia’s spell,
And every tongue from East to West
Will Alleluia tell.

Then shall the music of the spheres
With Alleluia rhyme,
And heaven will its rhythm move
To Alleluia’s time.

For then, O Christ, the mournful tomb
Will Alleluia burst,
And Thou, Triumphant Victor, shall
Sing Alleluia first!

But, for now, until we hear
That Alleluia bell,
We must with mournful joy thee bid
Fare, Alleluia, well!

Posted by Father Richard Gennaro Cipolla