Hosanna in the highest, Our eager hearts acclaim

Representative Text

1 Hosanna in the highest!
Our eager hearts acclaim
the prophet of the kingdom,
who bears Messiah’s name.
O bold, O foolish peasants,
to deem that he should reign!
The temple and the palace
look down in high disdain.

2 Long ages dim the message,
and custom has sufficed
for merchants and for princes
to bow, and own him Christ.
But when another spirit
arises from the plain,
the courts of power tremble,
and crucify again.

3 O first of many prophets
who come of simple folk
to free us from our bondage,
to break oppression’s yoke:
restore our minds to wisdom,
make known the life, the way
that leads through love and justice
unto the peace-crowned day.

Source: Singing the Living Tradition #262

Author: John Howland Lathrop

Lathrop, Rev. John Howland, D.D. (Jackson, Michigan, June 6, 1880-1967). He graduated from Meadville Theological School in 1903, then entered Harvard where he took an A.B. in 1905. He also studied at the University of Chicago, and the University of Jena. He served as minister of the First Unitarian Church of Berkeley, California, 1905-1911, and the First Unitarian Congregational Church of Brooklyn, New York, 1911-1957, when he became pastor emeritus. In 1935 he wrote a hymn for Palm Sunday beginning "Hosanna in the highest! Our eager hearts acclaim," which was included in Hymns of the Spirit (1937), set to St. Theodulph. --Henry Wilder Foote, DNAH Archives  Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hosanna in the highest, Our eager hearts acclaim
Author: John Howland Lathrop
Notes: This hymn is an alteration of Rev. Lathrop's slightly longer hymn, O bold, O foolish peasants.



Published in a chapel hymnal for the Duke of Würtemberg (Gesangbuch der Herzogl, 1784), ELLACOMBE (the name of a village in Devonshire, England) was first set to the words "Ave Maria, klarer und lichter Morgenstern." During the first half of the nineteenth century various German hymnals altered the…

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Singing the Living Tradition #262

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