Hallel: Praise, the name given to the group of Psalms 113-118 which are
preeminently psalms of praise. It is called "The Egyptian Hallel,"
because it was chanted in the temple whilst the Passover lambs were
being slain. It was chanted also on other festival occasions, as at
Pentecost, the feast of Tabernacles, and the feast of Dedication. The
Levites, standing before the altar, chanted it verse by verse, the
people responding by repeating the verses or by intoned hallelujahs.
It was also chanted in private families at the feast of Passover.
This was probably the hymn which our Saviour and his disciples sung
at the conclusion of the Passover supper kept by them in the upper
room at Jerusalem
(Matthew 26:30; Mark 14:26) There is also another group
called "The Great Hallel," comprehending Psalms 118-136 which was
recited on the first evening at the Passover supper and on occasions
of great joy.