We’ve moved out of Easter season, known as Eastertide in church history, which ends with the celebration of Pentecost. Now we’re in what is called “Ordinary Time” in the church calendar, but as you know there is never an Ordinary Time when we are followers and have our faith in Christ. During Eastertide, I closed many conversations or emails with “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our Song!”


A friend asked, “When you say, ‘We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our Song!’ what does that mean? I love the expression and had never heard it before.”


So here’s my take on that wonderful question…


We are Easter people with our hope specifically tied and grounded in the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If we do not believe that Jesus was raised, there is nothing to proclaim “Hallelujah!” or “Alleluia” about. Both mean, “Praise ye the Lord!” This wonderful word hallelujah or alleluia is used in our songs and hymns and is found in Scripture when God’s people cried out for joy, thanksgiving, and adoration for the Lord Most High.


With Christ’s resurrection God has begun his new creation. Through this new creation we are moved as Christ followers into a new life – not just individual salvation but a whole and HOLY new life, which not only fills us but spills over to others that we interact, work, and live with daily. We proclaim through faith that we are “resurrection people.” We are Easter people! Not only praising God but giving others a taste of the Kingdom here and now, which will fully come in Christ’s return.


The world is a dark place, and it wants to snuff out the light of the Good News of new creation – the new life we receive through Christ’s resurrection. As Easter people we are the light on the hill, the salt of the earth and the hope for the kingdom to come. This is the mystery and wonder of our new life with Christ that began that first Easter morning, when angels proclaimed, “He is not here. He is Risen!”

Pope John Paul II used this joyous phrase, “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our Song!” He is credited with the quote, but many believe it may have come from an early writing of St. Augustine, since the pope used quotation marks around his “Easter People” proclamation:

“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through His own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery* – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. ‘We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our Song!’”


So, our Alleluia song is not just in music, praise and Sunday worship, but encompasses something much bigger – our whole lives: how we are transformed into radically “newly created” people who love their enemies, care for the poor, mourn with those in mourning, who become peacemakers, agents of reconciliation, people of hope, ones who shine light in the darkness and are called to live this out to the ends of the earth.


Easter People live out and proclaim the commandment of our Lord:

Matthew 22:37-40 “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”




* the term paschal mystery simply refers to events of Christ’s death and resurrection and their significance for us, which we can only truly understand when our hearts are enabled to do so by God’s grace.

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