Dina Rodriguez leads Nativity Catholic School students in singing “Alleluia” one last time before Easter.

The season of Lent, a time of prayer and fasting for the Catholic Church, began on March 2 with Ash Wednesday. Nativity Catholic School hosted its annual “burying of the ‘Alleluia’” for its students. The tradition is an opportunity for Nativity to teach the young, growing Christians why “Alleluia” will not be sung in church until the celebration of Easter.

“I think it’s important that Nativity hosts this event each year for our students because it is another reminder of a new liturgical season, a season in which we hope students take more time to grow closer to Jesus by praying, fasting and giving,” said Nativity teacher Dina Rodriguez.

During the event, Nativity’s staff told the story of the Last Supper through Easter Sunday, simplifying the story told in church for the young students. They emphasized the message of God’s love evident in the crucifixion throughout the story.

“It’s time to say goodbye to our friend, the “Alleluia,” to let it rest for a while so that it will return to us at Easter full of enthusiasm to remind us again who we really are: loved children of God,” explained Rodriguez during the ceremony.

Prior to going to the church for Ash Wednesday Mass, Nativity students gathered along the perimeter of the courtyard as Rodriguez explained the tradition. For the last time until Easter, they sang “Alleluia” and then Nativity students buried the symbolic banner before attending the Ash Wednesday service in the church. Students were taught about the quiet reverence in the church for the 40 days leading up to the celebration of Easter.

“Being involved in this tradition is meaningful to me because it is an opportunity to share my God-given talents with our school community while also strengthening my faith journey,” said Rodriguez. “I hope they learned what ‘Alleluia’ means, that it is omitted during Lent in our liturgies, and I hope they make the connection that the ‘Alleluia’ rises on Easter with new life and meaning just like Jesus.”

For more information on Nativity Catholic School, visit its website at nativitycatholicschool.org. For more information on the church and the season of Lent, visit nativitycatholicchurch.org.

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Lily Belcher
Lily Belcher is a writer for the Osprey Observer. She started as an intern in the summer of 2020 and has continued to write for the Osprey Observer since completing her internship. Lily is majoring in mass communications at the University of South Florida and is a staff writer for the university’s paper, The Oracle. She enjoys writing about local nonprofit organizations and community role models who have made an impact on her hometown.