Today’s offering from Sing Praise is a short Easter canticle or acclamation, “Alleluia! Now he is living” by Fintan O’Carroll and Christopher Walker. It’s essentially the same as “Alleluia, Father we praise you as Lord” on which I commented on 14 February, so the explanation of how the Alleluia is used in some churches applies here too. This is the Easter version, with only one short ‘verse’ for solo cantor or choir, “Now he is living the Christ, out of the tomb he is risen; he has conquered death, opened heaven to all believers” – the second half of which is in fact taken from the third verse of the other version. So this could have been included in the hymn book as an optional extra or substitute verse in “Father we praise you as Lord”, or it would of course be possible to add other Easter verses to make a longer hymn.
Although short, it captures the joy of Easter faith, which demands this sort of acclamation. In this Covid year – the second Easter with restrictions on public worship – it has been very frustrating for congregations only to be able to speak the praise of the risen Christ from behind masks that muffle the sound, rather than shouted or sung aloud. As we pray for the pandemic to be stopped, we also look forward to a time when we can once again raise our voices in Alleluias!