In the popular hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty,” the name of God is given the highest acclaim. He deserves it because His name is Holy and no other name is holier than His. This was made apparent on the lines,
Only thou art holy; there is none beside thee / perfect in power, in love, and purity.
Furthermore, there are so many reasons to praise His name. As a merciful and mighty God, He walks beside us throughout our journey. When darkness gulped the road we’re treading on, He leads us to the righteous path. And when sin tries to blind our faith, His unconditional love drives us to see the light. With that said, the hymn became popularly sang all over the world. Apart from the beautiful message conveyed by this hymn, the story behind it is equally incredible.
The words to the hymn “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty” were credited to Reginald Heber. He served as the Bishop of Calcutta for three years since 1823 before succumbing to a stroke. His widow found the paper where Heber wrote the lyrics of one of the most beautiful hymns we know today. Yet, it took several years to pass before these lines found their place in worship services throughout the world.
In 1861, a publisher who rediscovered the words asked John Bacchus Dykes to provide him with a melody. Dykes, who graduated with a master in music that same year, was more than happy and honored to accept the request. Within 30 minutes, he wrote the tune “NICAEA” after the Council of Nicaea. Carrying the praise of the Trinity, NICAEA is a standard example of Victorian hymn tune writing. Among the tune’s distinguishing characteristics are its solid harmonies and subtle chromaticism. Thus, the unique rhyme scheme paired with a well-known tune helped made the hymn commonly sang in congregations.
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Holy, John Bacchus Dykes, Lord God Almighty, Reginald Heber
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