The Music of Elizabeth Alexander

May This Be a Working Alleluia

A “roll up your sleeves” embrace of gratitude, work, healing and joy

Words by Elizabeth Alexander

This festive work’s thought-provoking lyric celebrates the progression from gratitude to work, then to healing, and finally to shared joy. Opening with a simple unison line sung by the children, this song builds to an irrepressible outpouring of alleluias. Optional additional instruments include obbligato parts for flute and two trumpets, or your own addition of a rhythm section.

Details and Ordering Information

Tell me more

Text

May This Be a Working Alleluia

As we celebrate the bounty we’ve been given this hour,
May this be a grateful alleluia.
For this day and this bread, for each seed and each flow’r,
May this be a grateful alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Let this be our prayer as we greet each moment with a song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia,
May this be a grateful alleluia.

As the change we wish to see becomes the change that we make,
May this be a working alleluia.
Though we may not succeed, that’s a chance we will take.
May this be a working alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Let this be our prayer as we greet each moment with a song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia,
May this be a working alleluia.

As we work to make this world a more compassionate place,
May this be a healing alleluia.
Bridging painful divides, bearing comfort and grace,
May this be a healing alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Let this be our prayer as we greet each moment with a song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia,
May this be a healing alleluia.

As the love of God is offered to the world through our hands,
May this be a joyful alleluia.
As the broken is mended and justice expands,
May this be a joyful alleluia.
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Let this be our prayer as we greet each moment with a song:
Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

May this be a joyful alleluia,
May this be a grateful alleluia,
May this be a healing alleluia,
May this be a working alleluia.

Elizabeth Alexander
© 2010 by Elizabeth Alexander

Performers

Performers

Premiere: Choirs of Trinity Lutheran, Watertown Evangelical Free Church and Immaculate Conception / Elizabeth Alexander (Watertown, MN)
Choir of Alamo Heights United Methodist Church / Ruth Ann Lind (San Antonio, TX)
Choir of Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship / Deborah Mensh (Lafayette, CO)
Choir of Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship / Kevin Badanes (Durham, NC)
Choir of Minnesota Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship / Nicole Collins (Bloomington, MN)
Choir of Unitarian Universalist Society of Greater Springfield / Elisabeth Weber (Springfield, MA)
Choirs of Mayflower United Church of Christ / Nancy Grundahl (Minneapolis, MN)
Choirs of Unity Church-Unitarian / Ruth Palmer (St. Paul, MN)
Southeast District Unitarian Universalist Choral Festival / Glenn Mehrbach (Chapel Hill, NC)