Hymns of Inspiration – Bramwell

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20. Holy Holy Holy

Each week in church we repeat the words of the Nicene Creed. This creed was the product of the First Council of Nicaea 325 A.D. . The Council was called by Constantine 1 in an attempt to get agreement between the different churches on the divine nature of Jesus. In an attempt to squash various heresies the council agreed on the term homoousios which means ‘being of one substance’. It essentially stated that God and Jesus were absolutely equal. 

The hymn Holy, Holy, Holy uses the tune written by John Bacchus Dykes called Nicaea (after the first Council). The words of the hymn were written by Reginald Heber (1783-1826) and echo the words found in Isaiah 6:3 and Revelation 4:8.

Heber wrote the hymn for Trinity Sunday. 

In the New Testament, the word Lagios (Holy) means apartness, set-apart, separateness, sacredness, otherness, transcendent and totally other. The fact that God is referred to three times by this word only goes to accentuate even more the otherness of God. 

In 1 Peter 1:15-16 you will find…

But as He who has called you is holy, so you should be 

So as we sing of the holiness of God we are called to be holy ourselves. 

A challenge indeed !

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,
Who was, and is, 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!
God in three Persons, blessed Trinity!

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