Hymns of Holy Week and their Story

March 29, 2023

“Hosanna, Loud Hosanna”

The author of the hymn (Jeanette Threlfall; 1821-80), knew deep sorrow, for she was orphaned at a young age.  Accidents imposed upon her crippling injuries that impaired her for life.  Nevertheless, the Gospel of Christ was a joy for her even in the midst of pain.  The sweet verses of this 19th century English hymn do not show the misery of the author.  Though confined by disability and pain, her faith is unrestrained.  
This hymn is identified with Palm Sunday and the procession of palms narrated in Matthew 21.  The acclamation of little children in the Temple crying “Hosanna to the Son of David” is a jubilant contrast to the misery Christ would endure that very week.
Written specifically for children, this glorious canticle of praise and exuberance is fitting to all who call upon the Son of David.  For all of Christ’s followers, the sadness of the coming week is certainly overshadowed by the joy of the presence of Jesus.  With that cry of “Hosanna”, God’s ancient people prayed, “save us now”.  A plea for help has become a penultimate praise to the Lord.
In verse one, the true confession is placed into the mouths of little children.  It should be of no surprise that children praise Jesus, for it is neither intellect nor fluency of voice that inspires their song, but the presence of their Lord.  Jesus had already said during His final journey to Jerusalem, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.”  
This praise will never fade, for He who in humility “rode on in lowly state” is not only the crucified Christ but also the risen Redeemer.  The song will never cease as all God’s children rejoice eternally in His blissful presence.

Hosanna, loud hosanna, the little children sang;
Through pillared court and temple the lovely anthem rang.
To Jesus, who had blessed them, close folded to His breast,
The children sang their praises, the simplest and the best.

LSB 443

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