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Hail and Hosanna (Psalm 118:19-29)

Scripture References

Further Reflections on Scripture References

Psalm 118 is an ancient Hebrew song of triumphant procession and celebration, likely sung when the king returned, victorious, from battle. The refrain “Hail and Hosanna!” echoes the cries of the crowd during Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem. 


Sing! A New Creation


Hail and Hosanna (Psalm 118:19-29)

Call to Worship

Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest!
—based on Psalm 118:26, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Rejoice greatly, O daughter Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your king comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
—Zechariah 9:9, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
In our anguish we cried to the Lord,
and he answered by setting us free.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
The Lord is our strength and our song;
he has become our salvation.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
We will not die but live,
and will proclaim what the Lord has done.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his love endures forever.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the capstone;
The Lord has done this;
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
This is the day the Lord has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.
—from Psalm 118:1, 5, 14, 17, 22-24, NIV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

Psalm 118:19-29 for optional use with “Hail and Hosanna”
Open for me the gates of the righteous;
I will enter and give thanks to the LORD .
This is the gate of the LORD
through which the righteous may enter.
I will give you thanks, for you answered me;
you have become my salvation.
The stone the builders rejected
has become the cornerstone;
the LORD  has done this,
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
The LORD  has done it this very day;
let us rejoice today and be glad.
LORD , save us!
LORD , grant us success!
Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the LORD .
From the house of the LORD  we bless you.
The LORD  is God,
and he has made his light shine on us.
With boughs in hand,
join in the festal procession
up to the horns of the altar.
You are my God, and I will praise you;
you are my God, and I will exalt you.
Give thanks to the LORD , for he is good;
his love endures forever.
— Lift Up Your Hearts (

Additional Prayers

Lord Jesus Christ, you are the foundation of our life and faith.
Even when the world rejects you, we sing your praise.
Help us to love and serve others even when they reject us and you.
In your name there is healing, in your death there is life,
in your resurrection there is hope, and at your return every knee will bow.
Lord Jesus, come quickly. Amen.
— Psalms for All Seasons (

O Lord Christ,
as you once entered Jerusalem,
enter our hearts this day afresh.
As you once set your face toward death on a cross,
help us this day to walk with you to victory.
As the children once cried “Hosanna” to bless you,
enable us to confess you openly as Lord and Savior.
Grant us your presence by the power of your Spirit,
that our worship and our lives may truly honor you. Amen.
[The Worship Sourcebook]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Hail and Hosanna (Psalm 118:19-29)

Tune Information

F Major

Musical Suggestion

This setting is most appropriate when using the psalm in the context of a Palm Sunday celebration or during the season of Advent. At the final appearance of the refrain, sing several times in canon, using the accompaniment provided, either on keyboard or with handbells.
— Psalms for All Seasons (

Psalm 118 has long been associated with both Palm Sunday (“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. . . . With boughs in hand, join in the festal procession,” vv. 26-27) and Easter (especially a verse like “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone,” v. 22). Here is a refrain by James L. H. Brumm and Alfred V. Fedak that can be sung along with the reading of portions of that psalm.
This refrain is extracted from an anthem published by the Choristers Guild for a three-part treble canon for Palm Sunday; they composed it for the twentieth annual festival of the Central Jersey Chapter of Choristers Guild.
Lift Up Your Hearts gives you a responsive reading possibility with portions of Psalm 118, which can be read on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday, either as a call to worship or as part of the Scripture reading before the sermon.
  • Introduction (repeat the accompaniment to the first measure two times on organ, piano, bells, or a combination)
  • Refrain (sung first by all the children)
  • Psalm reading
  • Refrain (sung by all)
  • Psalm reading
  • Refrain
  • Psalm reading
  • Refrain (sung as a round)
On the last statement of the refrain, enjoy the delight of singing as a round, with the children singing the three parts. The accompaniment for singing in canon adds a measure to take care of the extra music needed. You might want to end by singing the song one more time with the entire congregation in canon.
If you would like to purchase the entire anthem (GGA-605), contact the Lorenz Corporation, or order directly from the Choristers Guild (
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 58)
— Emily Brink

 The music is bright and sprightly. The refrain should be sung at a quick—and steady!—march tempo. There is a light, detached feeling to the first two phrases (“Hail and Hosanna! Blest is he who comes”), with the final phase being a bit more legato.
The alternative accompaniment allows for the refrain to be sung in three-part canon at the half-measure; a congregation might consider singing the refrain in unison for Palm Sunday and in canon on Easter. This would make a good, subtle theological connection between the two ends of Holy Week.
If you choose to continue the music underneath the reading of the psalm, a very quiet alternation between F and Bb on half notes would work well. 

Hail and Hosanna (Psalm 118:19-29)

Hymn Story/Background

“Hail and Hosanna” is the refrain to a full hymn that was written in September of 1990 at the request of the board of the Central New Jersey chapter of Choristers Guild for their 20th anniversary children's choir festival. It is meant to be a Palm Sunday text, but the stanzas take singers through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, in a silent acknowledgment that many children are in worship only on Palm Sunday and Easter and miss the rest of Holy Week. It was set as an anthem by Alfred V. Fedak, which was suing by the choirs at the festival and is available through Choristers Guild. The refrain from that anthem setting was attached to a responsorial version of Psalm 118 for Palm Sunday in Sing! A New Creation.
— James Hart Brumm

Author Information

James Hart Brumm (b. 1962) is pastor of Blooming Grove Reformed Church in Defreestville, NY, and a minister of the Word and Sacrament in the Reformed Church in America. A graduate of Westminster Choir College (Bachelor of Music), New Brunswick Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology) and Drew University (Master of Philosophy), he also serves as moderator of the Reformed Church in America Commision on History.
Mr. Brumm has been writing hymn texts since 1986, and his hymns have been published by Choristers Guild, Selah Publishing Company, Faith Alive Christian Resources, and the Hymn Society in the United States & Canada. A collection of his hymns, titled Out of the Ordinary, is published by Wayne Leupold Editions. He has collaborated with a number of composers, including Alfred V. Fedak, Iteke Prins, and Kathleen Hart Brumm. Drawing from his Reformed background, he tries to keep a strong Scriptural basis in his hymns, which he looks upon as “metrical sermons.”
He has been a contributor to The Hymn, Reformed Worship, the Bulletin of the Hymn Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and The Church Herald. He chaired the text subcommittee for the hymnal supplement Sing!  A New Creation (Faith Alive Christian Resources, 2002) and was a contributing author for the Leaders’ Edition of that book. He is the author of Singing the Lord’s Song: A History of the English-Language Hymnals of the Reformed Church in America (RCA Historical Society, 1990) and editor of Equipping the Saints: The Synod of New York, 1800-2000 (Eerdmans, 2000). A life member of the Hymn Society, he served as Book Review Editor of The Hymn from 1996 to 2000.
— Choristers Guild (

Composer Information

Alfred Fedak (b. 1953), is a well-known organist, composer, and Minister of Music at Westminster Presbyterian Church on Capitol Hill in Albany, New York. He graduated from Hope College in 1975 with degrees in organ performance and music history. He obtained a Master’s degree in organ performance from Montclair State University, and has also studied at Westminster Choir College, Eastman School of Music, the Institute for European Studies in Vienna, and at the first Cambridge Choral Studies Seminar at Clare College, Cambridge. 
As a composer, he has over 200 choral and organ works in print, and has three published anthologies of his work (Selah Publishing). In 1995, he was named a Visiting Fellow in Church Music at Episcopal Seminary of the Soutwest in Austin, Texas. He is also a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists, and was awarded the AGO’s prestigious S. Lewis Elmer Award. Fedak is a Life Member of the Hymn Society, and writes for The American OrganistThe HymnReformed Worship, and Music and Worship. He was a member of the Presbyterian Committee on Congregational Song that prepared Glory to God, the 2013 hymnal of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
— Laura de Jong

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