December 20th

As mentioned last week, the Preface to the Eucharistic Prayer comes to a close by inviting all of us to join our voices to those of the Angels and Saints in Heaven.  The song that we sing with the Angels and Saints is known as the Sanctus (Latin for “Holy”).  We take this hymn from a few places in Scripture.

The first words of the hymn come from visions that various people had of Heaven.  In one of Isaiah’s visions, he saw God sitting upon His throne surrounded by Angels whom he heard crying out “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of hosts!  All the earth is filled with His glory!”  (cf. Isaiah 6: 1-4)  Ezekiel and Saint John both describe similar visions.  (cf. Ezekiel 3: 12-13 and Revelation 1: 10-11)

These visions of God on His throne are describing Heaven: that is where God reigns.  “Day and night, without pause” the Angels sing praise to God.  We take the words of our song of praise from the song that they are heard singing in these visions.

The rest of the hymn: “Blessed is He Who comes in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the Highest” comes from a different source.  These are the words that the crowd addressed to the Lord as He triumphantly entered Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, shortly before His crucifixion.  (cf. Mt. 21:9; Mk 11:10; Lk 19:38)

We use these words used to address Our Lord as He entered Jerusalem, to address Our Lord Who is about to descend upon our altar during the consecration.

These words also call to our minds the fact that Our Lord came to earth in order to die for our sins.  He triumphantly entered Jerusalem fully aware of what awaited Him, fully aware of the Passion that He was to undergo.  The people of Jesus’ day sang this to Him shortly before He was put to death; we sing these same words, as His sacrifice is about to be re-presented (in an un-bloody manner) upon our altar.  More next week.

God bless,

Father White

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