Hosanna filio David: benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini, Rex Israel: Hosanna in excelsis.
“Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed who comes in the name of the Lord, King of Israel. Hosanna in the highest.” (Matt 21:9)
Click here to listen to an audio recording of the chant.
Sung by Liborius Lumma, Innsbruck (Austria).
The solemnly celebrated Eucharist on Palm Sunday begins with a procession and the Gospel of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem. Hence there is no regular introit on this day, but several antiphons and psalms in this first part of the liturgy. The chant above is the very first of these antiphons.
With the people of Jerusalem – as narrated in the Gospel – we greet Jesus as the Son of David and praise his coming. We should not forget that Jesus did not fulfill the people’s expectations and ended on the cross, delivered by the same people. – How about our own expectations? And how do we react when God does not give us what we are asking for?
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini has become a part of the Sanctus which we Western Christians associate only with the Eucharistic celebration, but some Eastern traditions (e.g. the Copts) use the Sanctus in other liturgies too.
One little hint for those who actually sing this antiphon: When you sing David you can stress the final syllable, as the melody clearly implies. We can be quite sure that the Latin pronunciation of many Old Testament names stresses the final syllable, like in Hebrew. Only when it comes to often used names like Jesus, Maria, or in our case, Israel (in the second line), the pronunciation can differ.