Why Catholics Exclude the Gloria and Alleluia During Lent?
There are two very significant liturgical exclusions that occur during Lent. Over the entire 40 days of Lent, neither the Gloria hymn (Glory to God in the Highest) nor the Alleluia verse sung before the Gospel are permitted.
What is the reason for the exclusion of the Gloria and Alleluia During Lent?
First off, the Gloria is a hymn that honors the birth of the Lord by using words that the angels spoke at the birth of Christ. In spirit, the Church goes back to the time of the exile of God’s people as they awaited the coming of the Messiah throughout Lent. It is a time of anticipation similar to Advent, except instead of anticipating the birth of Christ from Mary’s womb, Christians are looking forward to his second “birth” from the womb of the sepulchre.
Second, the Church joins Moses and the Israelites as they wander in the desert for 40 years, continuing this same spirit of exile. It is a period of suffering and cleansing, and the faithful unite in saying, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” (Psalm 137:4) Because it originates from a Hebrew phrase that means “praise the Lord,” the word “Alleluia” is omitted during Lent.
Therefore instead of celebrating during Lent, we should be lamenting our sins and examining the things that stand in the way of our genuine connection with God. We are able to rejoice once more at Easter once these have been eliminated through prayer, fasting, and almsgiving because we are not only celebrating Christ’s resurrection but also our own spiritual rebirth.