Last year, I turned comment moderation on for a day so that I could ask the Chalicesseurs a question and people could answer without reading other people's answers first.
I'm going to do it again today.
Today's question: What does "Alleluia" mean?
When you say it in church, what do you feel like you are saying?
I specifically mean literal meanings, but what it means to you is good, too.
Feel free to comment "I don't know" if you don't know, in fact, please do.
I am an atheist... and for me, 'alleluia' means celebration and joy... I don't know what else to say, but that's what it means to me.
Sometimes, it's just a bunch of phonemes, but sometimes, it connects me to God. Energy flows when I sing it, and wow, it is just not something I can describe.
It is the Latin for Halleluja; that is "Praise God" or literally, "Praise Ya," the God of Israel.
Nice to know that M.Div's useful for something.
I always think a misspelling of "Hallelujah". and of course that means "Thanks be to God", or something like that. Is the literal meaning of "Amen" next? :-)
I was under the impression it meant "praise", but I'm not strong on Greek. Personally, it has no meaning other than as a traditional exclamation or syllable in a hymn, like "sha na na" in grease rock. Which is not to say it doesn't evoke pleasant memories, however.
I have to admit I don't know the "official" definition, but when I see (or read or sing) the word I think "hooray"! I am so happy that things are as they are that there is no other word to describe how I feel. It's a word of rejoicing.
Alleluia means "Praise be to God" when I utter it. It can be a sense of release as well--someone makes a cogent point and my response is "Alleluia". As a recent convert to Christianity, my views have slightly changed but I still see it in holy terms and always did.
Having grown up in a Apolstolic Church (Charismatic) the shouts of Alleluia, Thank You God, etc. is what I thought church was. Literally. At the age of 9 or 10 when I went to church with a friend I was in shock that people did not say these kinds of things out loud spontaniously, but only in songs or prayers.
To me "Alleluia" still means what it did in that church. A resounding "Thank You", an energetic "YES", an "I am with you, and feeling you, and lets make some noise about it".
I have no idea what the literal meaning is.. like so many other words of reverence I am not even sure if it is important what the literal meaning is. It is what it stirs in your soul that is important, what it generates in your mind.
My Aunt Zelma would end every prayer, even at the dinner table with "Alleluia, Alleluia, Alleluia we thank you for the Word, Alleluia"
I don't know what it means, but it kind of makes me uncomfortable. It always has. I found the sermon about it at GA made me less uncomfortable about it, and I think he said what it means, but I don't remember what he said.
BTW I do know what "Alleluia" means and have known for quite some time now. I expect that Rastafarians may have a somewhat different take on it however. . . ;-)
I think Alleluia means something like "praise be to God." The only time I can remember ever saying it in church is in the Christmas carol "Hark the Herald Angel Sings," which is part of the Christmas pageant we put on every year. I was a shepherd in the pageant as a kid and then did lighting and sound for it as a teenager and young adult, so I heard/sung this carol many times in church. All it really meant to me was that it seemed like a joyous cry was being made in honor of God.
A traditional word that we did use in regular parlance at church was "amen." We used it to close our prayers, doxology, some hymns, and most sermons. Amen has a technical meaning but I forget it right now. From context I always took it to be a sign of sincerity, that you had performed the prayer or doxology with intent and commended it to God. So Alleluia seemed more joyous and external while amen seemed more sober and internal, though not necessarily somber.
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