Reginald Heber wrote the words to “Holy, Holy, Holy” while serving as the vicar of Hodnet, Shropshire, England. He wrote them to be used in a Trinity Sunday worship service. During that time, sometime before 1821, he began to compile a hymnal based on the church calendar. Before it could be published Heber was named the Bishop of Calcutta, India. While there he fell ill, suffered a stroke and died. He was 42.
His widow found the by then forgotten poem, “Holy, Holy, Holy” while going through his belongings. But it would more than 30 years before those words were set to the music we know today.
In 1861 a publisher came across the poem and he asked John Bacchus Dykes to set them to music. Dykes composed the tune “Nicea” named in honor of the First Council of Nicaea which formalized the doctrine of the Trinity in the year 325.
Here’s Matt Maher’s version of “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
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