Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hosanna in the highest!

We sing this too quickly, forgetting that "hosanna" is Hebrew for "save us," and "in excelsis" means (in a world that is not a three-story universe where heaven us up and earth is down) "beyond all things." Gail Ramshaw once translated "Hosanna in the highest," as "Save us, we pray, you beyond all." Our musical settings of Hosanna  often treat the word as though it were interchangable with "Alleluia" (a latinization of the Hebrew word for "praise YAH (unspeakable name of God)" -- but Hosanna is more petition ("save us") than praise.

Think about that while waving your branch around: "Save us, we pray, you beyond all."

No comments:

Post a Comment