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March 17, 2005

17R Holy, Holy, Holy

Original Title: "Holy, Holy, Holy, (Lord God Almighty)," Reginald Heber (arr.)(1826), NICAEA,, John Bacchus Dykes (1861); New Title: "Holy, Holy, Holy," arr., same hymn tune. Heber was an Anglican bishop, and the hymn tune name, NICAEA, gives a clue as to the trinitarian impulses of his original words. Unitarians have rearranged his words, omitting references to the Trinity, since at least 1848. Even the 1917 Universalist hymnal, Hymns of the Church, includes, as does Hymns of the Spirit Two, only three verses of Heber's original, with no trinitarian references. Singing the Living Tradition recasts the same three verses as no. 26, "Holy, Holy, Holy, (Author of Creation)," while The New Century Hymnal in four verses gives us "Holy, Holy, Holy, (God the Almighty). The verse regarding "cherubim and seraphim," excised from Unitarian and Universalist hymnody for centuries now, has been restored here. "Holy, holy, holy," are words addressed above in Isaiah 6:3, Revelation 4:8, and in communion prayers in many settings.


1. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! O God Al-migh-ty!
Ear-ly in the morn-ing our song shall rise to thee;
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly, mer-ci-ful and migh-ty!
Per-fect in power, in love, and pu-ri-ty.

2. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! All the saints a-dore thee,
Cast-ing down their gol-den crowns a-round the glass-y sea;
Che-rub-im and se~raph-im fall-ing down be-fore thee,
Who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be.

3. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! though the night-fall hide thee,
hin-dered by our va-ni-ties we have not eyes to see;
On-ly thou art ho-ly; there is none be-side thee,
Per-fect in power, in love, and pu-ri-ty!

4. Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly! O God Al-migh-ty!
All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth, and sky, and sea;
Ho-ly, ho-ly, ho-ly; mer-ci-ful and migh-ty!
Who was, and is, and ev-er-more shall be.

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Posted by rehurst at March 17, 2005 01:01 AM

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