Hosanna to the living Lord!

Representative Text

1 Hosanna to the living Lord!
Hosanna to th'incarnate Word!
To Christ, Creator, Savior, King,
let earth, let heav'n hosanna sing.

2 "Hosanna, Lord!" your angels cry;
"Hosanna, Lord!" your saints reply.
Throughout the earth, around your throne,
your people sing in sweetest tone.

3 O Savior, with protecting care
abide in this your house of prayer,
Where we your parting promise claim,
assembled in your sacred name.

4 O Spirit, all our sins forgive,
and come within our hearts to live.
Our souls shall be your temple pure
and you will make our faith endure.

5 So, on that last and dreadful day,
when earth and heav'n shall melt away,
your flock, redeemed from sinful stain,
shall swell the sound of praise again.

Source: Christian Worship: Hymnal #915

Author: Reginald Heber

Reginald Heber was born in 1783 into a wealthy, educated family. He was a bright youth, translating a Latin classic into English verse by the time he was seven, entering Oxford at 17, and winning two awards for his poetry during his time there. After his graduation he became rector of his father's church in the village of Hodnet near Shrewsbury in the west of England where he remained for 16 years. He was appointed Bishop of Calcutta in 1823 and worked tirelessly for three years until the weather and travel took its toll on his health and he died of a stroke. Most of his 57 hymns, which include "Holy, Holy, Holy," are still in use today. -- Greg Scheer, 1995… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: Hosanna to the living Lord!
Author: Reginald Heber (1827)
Language: English
Refrain First Line: Hosanna, Lord, hosanna in the highest
Copyright: Public Domain


Hosanna to the living Lord. Bishop R. Heber. [Advent.] This hymn is found in two forms and both by Heber. The first is unknown in modern hymnals, the second is in very extensive use in English-speaking countries. In 1811 Heber contributed several hymns to the Christian Observer, prefacing them with a letter in which he strongly condemned the familiarity assumed by hymn-writers with the Divine, and with divine things; and promised to remedy the defect so far as it lay in his power so to do. This letter appeared in Oct. 1811, together with four hymns, the first of which was this for Advent Sunday. The first stanza reads:—

" Hosanna to the living Lord!
Hosanna to the Incarnate Word!
Hosanna in the earth be said,
And in the heavens which he hath made.

In 1827, it appeared in Heber's posthumous Hymns, &c, p. 1, in a new and much improved form. From this revised text all existing forms of the hymn in collections for congregational use have been made. The first stanza of the revised text is:—

”Hosanna to the living Lord!
Hosanna to the Incarnate Word!
To Christ, Creator, Saviour, King,
Let earth, let heaven, Hosanna sing!
Hosanna! Lord! Hosanna in the highest!"

The full revised text is in Lord Selborne's Book of Praise, 1862, No. 141. The doxology, which is given in Hymns Ancient & Modern and other collections, was added to the hymn as early as Stretton's Church Hymns, 1850. The hymn "Hosanna, Lord, the angels cry," in Martineau's Hymns, &c, 1840, and later collections, begins with stanza ii. of this hymn.

--John Julian, Dictionary of Hymnology (1907)



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Instances (1 - 9 of 9)
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Christian Worship (1993) #21


Christian Worship #915

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CPWI Hymnal #590

Discipleship Ministries Collection #53

Hymns of the Church #11

Praise y Adoración #282a

The Christian Life Hymnal #48


The Cyber Hymnal #2648

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The Hymnal 1982 #486

Include 187 pre-1979 instances
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