This is a wonderful song to sing in Spanish; at least sing both Spanish and English on the short repeated refrain. It is appropriate for congregational leaders to compose their own stanzas to sing following those offered here.
This is an entrance song for the Misa Popular Nicaragünse (Popular Nicaraguan Mass). In the wake of the Vatican II reforms, this mass was written both for and by laypeople, an articulation of a particular, local faith community that has spread to many other Latin American nations and churches.
This song has two clearly delineated sections (stanza and refrain). The stanzas serve as narration to the story of Christ’s triumphal entry—in the historical past on stanza 1 and in the worshipful present on the second. The refrain moves from narration to action, and places the partcipants in the singing of the “Hosannas.”
The verses are characterized by expectation, built up through repeated phrases and a limited melodic contour. The refrain grows in excitement with more rhythmically animated trumpet-like leaps in the melody. This range and contour make it especially appropriate for children’s voices.
Carolyn Jennings (b. 1936) was a professor of music at St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minnesota, and composer of many works sung by church, community, and school choirs. This text is one of six that she translated from Spanish for The New Century Hymnal (Pilgrim Press, 1995).
The translator, Gertrude Suppe (b. 1911) is well known not only for her translations, but also for her pioneer work in compiling all known Hispanic church music in a database that has been an invaluable resource.
The author and composer Rubén Ruíz’s (b. Cuautla, Morelos, Mexico, 1945) father was a Methodist bishop in Mexico. Mr. Ruíz received his education at Insituto Mexicano Madero where he also served as choir director.
This song was arranged by Alvin Schutmaat (b. 1921; d. 1988). Using arts to communicate the gospel, Columbian Alvin Schutmaat studied Latin American literature and education in Edinburgh, returning to Colombia to teach theology and music at the Presbyterian Seminary in Bogata; he also taught at the Latin American Biblical Seminary in Costa Rica.