In this day and age, businesses are often times, choosing political correctness when it comes to playing Christmas music in their buildings for shoppers to hear. Every year it is less and less about the birth of Christ and more and more about Santa Claus, elves, and reindeers.

By Linda Carrasco




. Recently, it’s about colors and images that vaguely suggest a Christmas season but are devoid of any hint of the Christ in Christmas or “spirit” of the holidays. Even the words Hallelujah, Alleluia, and Hosanna in songs can no longer be heard in malls as part of the holiday music repertoire. These three words, once a part of many classic Christmas carols have fallen by the wayside and have been thoughtlessly excluded from the Christmas observance and holiday performances. A wise prophet from antiquity said, “Stand in the ways and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is.” In this published discussion, the old path to be taken, is to go back and remember the old Christmas songs that used to be sung without thought for political correctness or concern that they would be a source of offense to someone hearing them or seeing them in print. A background study of these words: Hallelujah, Alleluia, and Hosanna which were unapologetically evident in Christmas carols and songs, reveals an origin that cannot be denied or devalued. The Greek form of the word Hallelujah, “Alleluia” is found in the 19th chapter of the book of Revelation. In one section of chapter 19, the Apostle John documents in the book that is attributed to him, that he hears a voice that comes from the throne where God is sitting, in heaven, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” When John receives this “Revelation,” he is banished to the island of Patmos because according to Bible historians, those trying to silence the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, were unable to kill him, even when they placed him in a pot of boiling oil. He records that in the vision he hears “the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thundering’s, saying, ‘Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns!  Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory…’” Which one of us has not heard the voices of singing, from a multitude of people, of let’s say a large church or religious convention, and has not felt goose bumps when the unified voices singing as one, sounds like gently flowing river water and as the crescendo rises becomes like a powerful but yet gentle thunder? In the Old Testament, dependent on the Bible version you look at, the word Hallelujah is also found at the beginning of ten of the Psalms: 106, 111 through 113, 135, and 146 through 150. These Psalms have been called the Hallelujah Psalms by some. The acceptable explanation is that the first part, “hallelu,” is an imperative form of the Hebrew verb, “hallel.” Hallel is more of a command “to praise the Name of the Lord.” When combined with “Jah” or “Yah,” a shortened form of the tetragrammaton, YHWH, the Jewish name for the Creator, Hallelujah or Alleluia has come to signify “Praise the Lord” in any language. Hallelujah sounds the same when spoken in any language. Missionaries to other countries have witnessed the singing of Hallelujah on the different continents and the word is recognizable in any part of the world. We can surmise that this is quite possible because the Apostle John, “heard as it were the voice of much people in heaven, saying: Alleluia. Salvation, and glory, and power is to our God.” The citizens of heaven, were people of many cultures and languages. Hosanna is a component of songs and prayers in some modern day church services. The Apostle Matthew describes the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for his final presentation of himself to Israel, before his crucifixion. Matthew’s account reveals, that the expression Hosanna came to the lips of the Passover crowds in the street possibly because they were familiar with Psalm 118 from which it was taken and were accustomed to reciting the 25th and 26th verses at one of the Jewish feasts as part of their worship. In the Hebrew it is an expression of intense emotion, a transliteration from two Hebrew roots meaning, “save now” or “save I pray.” Hallelujah, Alleluia, and Hosanna are words that have been used in instances of worship recorded in the gospels and the psalms. They are worthy of our attention and respect because of their wonderfully, exceptional origins. We can’t change what we hear in the shopping malls, department stores, restaurants, and other places of business that have chosen to nullify and sterilize Christmas, but we can certainly remember the “old paths,” stand in those ways in our homes with our families and remember the “good ways” of Christmas. One of those ways is to recall the spiritual part of Christmas of which the holiday songs, sprinkled with sacred words like Hallelujah, Alleluia, and Hosanna, unhindered by commercialism, created a peaceful, joyous mood and atmosphere.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Nuestra Voz!


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