Main Content
"Hallelujah!" Is a Dangerous Word
"Hallelujah!" Is a Dangerous Word
Reading

Hallelujah! is a dangerous word, especially in the mouths of the creatively maladjusted.*

Hallelujah! is a dangerous word, for it comes always with an exclamation point.

Hallelujah! is a dangerous word,
for it is the sign of a people claiming and exclaiming their sacred worth
and praising that which brought them into being.

Hallelujah! is a dangerous word for another reason, my friends,
and that’s because it takes an extra pointed kind of breath —
and breath is life — and life, when it’s animated, is perhaps a bit dangerous.

Breath not only makes us individually alive,
but when we gather together with others in close proximity
there’s something that happens, physiologically,
that raises the amount of boldness and courage of the group body.

So what is this thing called worship that we do, and what good does it do?

Hallelujah!

The moment we open our mouths and we sing and we breathe together,
the law of entrainment takes over —
which is a law of physics that says when two rhythms that are not quite the same
come into close proximity with one another, they will entrain, if only for a short time.

Rhythm: each of us has rhythm. And when we come into close proximity,
that rhythm connects — if we allow it enough time to do so.

Breath. Breathing together. Singing together.
Boldness and courage rising.

Hallelujah!

 

* “Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

About the Author

  • Dr. Marcia McFee is a professor, worship designer, author, preacher and ritual artist. Drawing on a first career in professional dance and musical theater and equipped with a Master's in Theology and a PhD in Liturgical Studies, she understands the role of any...

Like, Share, Print, or Explore

For more information contact worshipweb@uua.org.