Hosanna is a word of Hebrew origin that means ‘save’. It can be used as salutation, as an expression of acclamation or admiration, or as a request for mercy. It is a term used, equally, in the Christian and Jewish liturgies.
The biblical meaning of hosanna appears in different passages of the Bible and is used in songs and prayers. In Psalms, for example, it is presented as a request for help, for salvation: “We beg you, O Lord, hosanna [save us now]; we beg you, O Lord, prosper us now ”(Psalm: 118: 25).
Hosanna in Judaism
In Judaism, the expression hosanna is part of the great Hallel, prayer based on the biblical psalms, which was sung at the Feast of Easter and other celebrations, such as the Feast of Tabernacles.
Also, during the Hoshanot ceremony, the litanies that are sung contain a general refrain that contains the expression hosanna.
Hosanna in Christianity
For Christianity, hosanna represents the expression with which the people of Jerusalem received Jesus. It is the cry of acclamation and adoration that greeted Jesus’ entry into the city, as narrated in the Bible: “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, king of Israel ”(John 12:13).
Hence, in the celebrations of the Catholic Church, such as Palm Sunday, hymns such as “Hosanna to the son of David” are sung.
Hosanna and Hallelujah
Hosanna and Hallelujah are expressions of Christianity used to express joy and praise to God. They can be used interchangeably as synonyms in salutation or admiration contexts, such as “Hosanna to the Most High,” “Hosanna in heaven,” “Hosanna on high,” or “Hosanna to the son of David.”
Hosanna can also be used as a female first name. It comes effectively from the Hebrew word, and means ‘the one who has health’.