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A Hebrew shout of joy and triumph, taken from the Psalms, and saying "Save us, we pray." During the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles it was recited or chanted daily by the priest during the procession around the altar. When certain verses were said, the trumpet sounded, palm branches were waved, and the Hoshiana was repeatedly shouted as an exultation of joy. In present day masses it is twice proclaimed at the Sanctus, by the priest and the faithful, and either sung or recited. It is said at the distribution of palms and during Palm Sunday's solemn procession in imitation of the acclamations given to Christ as he entered Jerusalem a few days before his Passion. (Etym. Hebrew ho shi a na, save me; an exclamation of joy.)
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.