Jesus enters the holy city of Jerusalem on a donkey and the pulsating crowd chants, ‘Hosanna.’
It is a Hebrew word that means, ‘Save us, now.’ Or if you like, ‘Save us, please.’
Either way, it is a chant with ‘colossal meaning.’
The early church seized on the word, and its meaning, and brought it into the heart of the celebration of the Eucharist.
One of the earliest Church documents we have is called the Didache (meaning ‘Teaching’). Its history dates to the late first century.
The Didache describes the two ways that are open to human beings:
The Way of Life or The Way of Death.
Besides the New Testament it is perhaps the earliest account of the key elements of the Eucharistic celebration. Here we read:
Let his grace draw near, and let this present world pass away.
Hosanna to the God of David.
Whoever is holy, let him approach.
Whoever is not, let him repent. Maranatha.
Amen (Didache 10, 6).
During this holy week, particularly if we are participating in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist, focus attention on the ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.’
There we will find great comfort in the repetition of ‘Hosanna.’
It is our simple, heartfelt prayer, that Jesus would come and save us, please!
That’s just most uplifting. Thank you. I had never heard the meaning of Hosanna.