Last weekend we said goodbye to our dear friend "Al" - also known as the "Alleluia". During the season of Septuagesima, the Church bids farewell to this glorious word and removes it from the Sacred Liturgy because it is so closely untied to the mystery of our Lord's Resurrection.
In the words of Dom Prosper Gueranger, "the leading feature, then, of [the season of] Septuagesima is the total suspension of the Alleluia, which is not to be again heard upon the earth, until the arrival of that happy day, when, having suffered death with our Jesus, and having been buried together with him, we shall rise again with him to a new life."
Holy Mother Church, however, wishes not for us to despair, but to always have the supernatural virtue of hope - shown in the feast of Candlemas (the Presentation of Our Lord and the Purification of Our Lady) which often falls during the season of Septuagesima. The Liturgy is filled with the symbolism of light and references to the Liturgy which is to come - the Triduum.
As we approach Lent - with Sexagesima upon us - let us keep in mind what Holy Mother Church is trying to speak to us through Her liturgy: to contemplate our unworthiness, to plead for mercy, to do penance for our sins, and to never lose hope because the Resurrection is on the horizon, though we must pass through the cross and burial before we can seem the glimmer of the Paschaltide.
Burial of Alleluia & Candlemas Slideshow