WHAT DOES “HOSANNA” MEAN?
Everytime we attend the Holy Mass, we respond after the priest prays the Preface:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of hosts, heaven and earth are full of your glory. in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.
This prayer of acclamation and praise comes from the following verse in the Gospel of St. Matthew:
And the crowds that went before him and that followed him shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest!” Mt 21:9
But what does the word “Hosanna” mean? According to the Navarre Bible, Commentary to the Gospel of St. Matthew,
- “The Hebrew word Hosanna, which the people use to acclaim our Lord, was originally an appeal to God meaning ‘Save us’.
- Later it was used as a shout of joy, an acclamation, meaning something like ‘Long live…’ The people are demonstrating their enthusiasm by shouting, ‘Long live the Son of David!’
- The phrase ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord’ comes from Psalm 118:26 and is a jubilant and appreciative greeting to someone entrusted with a mission from God.
- The Church takes up these acclamations, incorporating them in the preface of the Mass, to proclaim the kingship of Christ.”
Dear brethren in Christ, let us then mean what and when we say: Hosanna! Save us and long live the Son of David, Our Lord Jesus Christ!
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