Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!   3 comments

the-church-militant-and-the-church-triumphant

Above:  The Church Triumphant and the Church Militant, by Andrea di Bonaiuto, at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, Florence, Italy

Image in the Public Domain

Text by Reginald Heber (1783-1826)

Text Source = The English Hymnal (1906), The Church of England

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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!

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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 shall be.

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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.

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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!

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SOME UNITARIAN VERSIONS OF THE HYMN

(FOR THE SAKE OF CURIOSITY, IF NOTHING ELSE)

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Hymn Sources = Hymns of the Spirit (1937), American Unitarian Association and Universalist Church of America; and Hymns for the Celebration of Life (1964), Unitarian Universalist Association

Holy, holy, holy!  Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;

Holy, holy, holy!  Merciful and Mighty!

Who wert, and art, and evermore shall 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!

Who wert, and art, and evermore shall be.

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Hymn Source = Singing the Living Tradition (1993), Unitarian Universalist Association

Holy, holy, holy!  author of creation!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty;

who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

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Holy, holy, holy, though the darkness hide thee,

hindered by our vanities we have not eyes to see.

Only thou art holy, there is none beside thee,

perfect in power, in love, and purity.

+++++

Holy, holy, holy!  author of creation!

All thy works shall praise thy name in earth and sky and sea;

holy, holy, holy, merciful and mighty;

who was, and is, and evermore shall be.

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Might I state the obvious?  First, the irony of a staunchly Trinitarian hymn appearing in altered forms in Unitarian hymnals is rich.  Furthermore, “hindered by our vanities we have not eyes to see ” is substantially different from “though the sinful eye of man thy glory may not see.”

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

FEBRUARY 23, 2017 COMMON ERA

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3 responses to “Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!

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  1. Pingback: Trinity Sunday | GATHERED PRAYERS

  2. Pingback: Reginald Heber | GATHERED PRAYERS

  3. Pingback: Feast of Reginald Heber (April 3) | SUNDRY THOUGHTS

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