Hymns of Glory: Holy, Holy, Holy

“Hymns of Glory” will be a recurring series. Its purpose is to reflect on beautiful, sound, and spiritual hymns, both old and modern, that have made a tremendous impact in the lives of those who write for The Reformed Alliance, and have glorified God through it’s all-around composition. May you be blessed by the series, and consider these hymns for personal, family, and corporate worship.

When I was first introduced to beautiful hymns and old songs of praise, I noticed the rich theology within them. The lyrics were both logically captivating and emotionally moving.  The beauty of the lyrics combined with the simple, yet elegant melody providing a rich excellence for corporate worship. Holy, Holy, Holy is definitely one of the finest hymns, and one of the most God-glorifying ones as well.

I can’t describe the joy while singing this hymn, especially in corporate worship setting. Though I was not taught this beautiful song, I quickly learned that it was a popular one among many Christians. It is included in the Methodist and the Presbyterian hymnal, which should say something concerning the admiration the song has from all denominations. Like many other hymns that I was not familiar with for most of my life, Holy, Holy, Holy was a wonderful discovery to make. My reasons for loving the hymn are as follows:

Lyrical Brilliance

One of my biggest pet peeves is when a worship leader on a Sunday morning service asks the audience how they feels. Alistair Begg, when preaching about the implications of the resurrection on our worship, made a bold statement concerning what worship should be about, “Don’t ask me how I feel, ask me what I know. Ask me what I know about God, the verity for my soul. That’s what I need!” Begg is correct; when we gather for worship as a family or church body, or even when one sets the mind for personal worship with God, we need to be reminded of the truth.

What better reminder can we have than to be reminded of the holiness of God? What better to comfort our soul than the words that cause us to reflect on God’s character and attributes? What better news can we possibly hear, and even join in song, than the knowledge that our God is not only Creator, but Sustainer? The truth of the matter is that when we know more about God, we are lifted up by the Spirit into a richer worship experience. It all begins with knowledge, and Holy, Holy, Holy has the lyrics that not only flow with the melody, but remind the Christian as to what it means to believe in a Triune God who is merciful and mighty.

Beautiful Melody

I couldn’t speak more highly of the melody than to say it is one of the best hymn melodies ever. The musical arrangement for Holy, Holy, Holy is simple, as it is usually in the key of C major, and it has only slight variations. Though not often mentioned and praised, the simplicity of Holy, Holy, Holy is what makes it work best for worship. It is easily to follow along, and I truly believe it was written this way so that a church congregation could easily learn it and sing for generations to come.

As I stated before, the hymn is usually played in the key of C major, or even D major, and this makes the hymn very easy to sing along to. No matter if you are baritone, like myself, or a soprano, the hymn is a serene singing experience. Are there variations? Of course. My favorite cover of the hymn is actually a modern rearrangement of by HeartSong (click here to listen), and we even take bits of the modern rendition for my church’s corporate worship service. However, I still love the original melody in its classic form and its beautiful simplicity.

I hope that this hymn will continue to be sung in local churches all around the world, and that that this hymn will last through the rest of the years until Christ’s glorious return for His Bride. I admire Holy, Holy, Holy for what it is, and with God’s blessing many other Christians will find comfort in its rich theology, words of comfort, and composed melody.

The lyrics are below, and to listen to the traditional arrangement on Spotify, just click here.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty
Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty
God in Three persons, blessed Trinity

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore Thee
Casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea
Cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee
Which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide Thee
Though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see
Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee
Perfect in power, in love, and purity

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty
All Thy works shall praise Thy name, in earth and sky and sea
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty
God in Three persons, blessed Trinity

Soli Deo Gloria.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s