What Is the Most Beloved Hymn?

Hymn Society members cast their votes for the greatest hymn of all time. Here’s the result.

Posted in , Jul 30, 2019

Favorite hymn

Got a favorite hymn? One that sets your heart humming and says all that you could possibly say about your faith?

Not long ago the Hymn Society in the United States and Canada announced to all the world what their members voted was the greatest hymn of all time. If you guessed, “Amazing Grace,” you would be wrong. But hum your way through your church memories and you might hit this one. Give up?

“Holy, Holy, Holy” it is. Hummable, august, catchy and Biblically inspired, it’s a worthy choice. It certainly celebrates the Trinity and echoes God’s triune power in threes: “Perfect in power, in love and purity,” “which wert and art and evermore shall be,” “in earth and sky and sea.”

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It even repeats “Holy” three times. But that comes right out of Scripture. “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts,” proclaims the seraphim in the book of Isaiah (6:3) and then again in another celestial vision in the book of Revelation (4:8), “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.”

That’s pretty close to the hymn’s “which wert and art and evermore shall be,” a phrase so enamored by one friend that he said he wished he had three dogs and could name them: Which, Wert and Art. Taking triune symbolism a little too far, if you ask me!

In these dog days of summer no matter how you might be celebrating on earth or sky or sea, I hope your heart is humming with God’s majesty, “Only Thou art holy, there is none beside Thee, perfect in power in love and purity.”

If there’s some other hymn you’re humming, let us know. What’s your favorite?

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