Holy, Holy, Holy

Words: Reginald Heber 1783-1826
Music: John Bachus Dykes 1823-1876

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:8

Reginald Heber was born near Cheshire, England in 1783. His parents were well educated and had lots of money. At age 17 he entered Oxford University and impressed the faculty with his scholarship. Heber was ordained to the ministry of the Anglican Church and placed to serve for 16 years at a very small parish in the western village of Hodnet. He loved this area because the climate and weather was good for his weak body and he had time to write.

“Holy, Holy, Holy” was written for Trinity Sunday, eight weeks after Easter. The point was to emphasize and affirm the doctrine of the triune Godhead. This very popular hymn was published after his death along with others, which had been stored in a trunk. The outstanding composer John B. Dykes was called to a meeting to write

suitable music. After a short stay he wrote the music and named the tune, “Nicaea” in honor of the Council of Nicaea held in Asia Minor in 325 A.D. At that council the doctrine of the Trinity was determined to be essential to the faith.

Heber died from heat stroke at age 43 while serving in India. He left us 57 hymns. The one before us is his greatest and that must be why it is placed as the first or second hymn in many hymnals.

Prayer Focus: Early in the morning let our song rise to Thee.