The Story Behind the Hymn | Theodulf


When Jesus entered Jerusalem riding on a donkey, a hopeful crowd filled the streets, waving palm branches and praising God. The people believed that the Messiah had finally come to lead a revolt against the Romans.

Less than a week later, the same crowd demanded his crucifixion. Theodulf, who wrote this hymn, had a somewhat similar experience. King Charlemagne had made him Bishop of Orléans in the late 700s, and all the people, as well as the king, praised Theodulf.

He was the king’s theologian as well as a beloved pastor. But when Charlemagne died, rumors were spread against him. Charlemagne’s son charged him with conspiracy and put him in prison.

And yet it was while he was in a dark prison that he wrote this hymn, which is still sung more than a thousand years later. It is a favorite Palm Sunday hymn in churches of many denominations.

Scriptures: Psalm 118:25-26; Mark 11:7-10; John 12:12-13

Themes: Palm Sunday, Praise

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