Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona (Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

How can the worshiper not conclude with such acclamations! When God is the “overflowing source of all good” (Belgic Confession, Article 1) and when he has provided all the benefits of Christ’s atonement and makes them ours so that “they are more than enough to absolve us from our sins,” (Belgic Confession, Article 22) our hearts cry out to him with praise and adoration. Therefore, Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 52, Question and Answer 128 includes the ending doxology of the Lord’s Prayer and teaches that “your holy name, and not we ourselves, should receive all the praise, forever.” And so consistent with these thoughts, Our World Belongs to God, paragraph 2 exclaims, “Our World Belongs to God! God is King: Let the earth be glad! Christ is victor: His rule has begun! The Spirit is at work: Creation is renewed! Hallelujah! Praise the Lord!” And the Belhar Confession, Section 5 concludes: “Jesus is Lord. To the one and only God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be the honor and the glory forever and ever.”


Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona (Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises)

Introductory/Framing Text

This anonymous South African folk song is an expression of Christian joy in the face of hardship and oppression. In lands where chronic hunger and malnutrition are commonplace,  that joy points to the final banquet feast where all hungers will be satisfied.

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Acclamation
Magnificent God, above all and yet intimately present,
you sent Jesus Christ into the world to be our bread and cup,
the nourishment of our souls.
And so we sing your praises in Jesus’ name. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona (Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises)

Tune Information

G Major


Musical Suggestion

Here is a "sending" song from South Africa. This is another song for which the organ may not be the best option. My favorite way of singing this is as follows:
  1. First, teach it to a choir or small group of worship leaders until they can sing it from memory. Many choirs are so tied to the page that memorizing a text is a real challenge. But only then will the joy start to break loose and even physical involvement will start to feel irresistibly natural.
  2. Second, have your choir sing it as a parting song after the final blessing. Let them sing it unaccompanied, with good solid accents on these short phrases. If possible, accompany simply with drums, played not with sticks but with hands improvising a free accompaniment. Notice that each section is to be repeated. The next week, give the music to your congregation as well, and have them sing the repeats.
  3. Third, listen after the service as people go out continuing to sing this song. Some day you might even want to process out singing this.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 48)

Haleluya! Pelo tsa rona (Hallelujah! We Sing Your Praises)

Hymn Story/Background

Like “Thuma Mina” (Send Me, Lord), this anonymous South African worship song, originally in the Sotho language, comes to us via Sweden, in the collection of African songs Freedom Is Coming (1984) gathered by Anders Nyberg.  The texts were translated from Swedish into English by Gracia Grindal. 
This song is a joyful celebration at the Lord’s table; the refrain of praise alternates with verses in which Jesus tells us of the gifts of bread and wine in which he offers himself to us; strengthened in faith by this gift, we can then take up his command with joy to share this gift with others, giving “to all who thirst and hunger,” and telling all “the joyful gospel.”   
— Emily Brink
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