Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Hallelujah (2)


a doxology used frequently in the ancient Church, and derived from the Old Testament. The singing Hallelujah sometimes means the repetition of the word, in imitation of the heavenly host (see Revelation 19); at other times it has reference to one of the psalms beginning with Hallelujah. In the early Christian Church the more common acceptation of hallelujah' is for the singing of the word itself in special parts of divine service, as-a sort of mutual call to each other to praise the Lord." In some churches the Hallelujah was sung only on Easter day and the fifty days of Pentecost; in others it was used more generally. Augustine says it was not used in time of Lent (Augustine, Epist. 119, 178). In the fourth Council of Toledo it is mentioned under the name Laudes, and appointed to be smug after the reading of the Gospel (Concil. Tolet. 4, can. 10,11). It was occasionally sung at funerals: St. Jerome speaks of it as being smug at the funeral of Fabiola, and says the people made the golden roof of the church shake with echoing forth the Hallelujah (Contra Vigilant. cap. 1, and Epist. 30, cap. 4). The ancient Church retained the Hebrew word, as also did the Church of England in its first Liturgy; though now it is translated "Praise ye the Lord," to which the people reply, "The Lord's name be praised." See Bingham, Orig. Eccles. bk. 14, ch. 2, § 4; Procter.

On Common Prayer, p. 212; Coleman, Ancient Christianity, ch. 15:§ 9.

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Hallelujah (2)'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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