626. Holy, Holy, Holy

Text Information
First Line: "Holy, holy, holy," angel hosts are singing ("Santo, santo, santo" canta serafines)
Title: Holy, Holy, Holy
Spanish Title: "Santo, santo santo" cantan seravines
Translator: Bert Polman (1985)
Meter: irregular
Language: English; Spanish
Publication Date: 1987
Topic: Doxologies; Responses; Songs for Children: Hymns (1 more...)
Copyright: Tr. © 1987, CRC Publications
Tune Information
Harmonizer: AnnaMae Meyer Bush (1985)
Meter: irregular
Key: e minor
Source: Spanish
Copyright: Text and harmonization © 1987, CRC Publications

Text Information:

Scripture References:
st. = Isa. 6:3

"Holy, Holy, Holy" is derived from the song of the angels in Isaiah's vision (Isa. 6:3). The early Christian church added other liturgical phrases such as "Hosanna" and "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord" (Ps. 118:26) to the passage from Isaiah. That expanded text eventually became the Sanctus of the Roman Mass and is still sung in every Mass (now in the vernacular). The Sanctus was retained by the Lutheran tradition, appearing in chorale form (Martin Luther's “Jesaia, dem Propheten, das geschach") and in various plainsong and metrical settings. It is also the basis for other hymns such as "Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty" (249).

This Spanish setting of the Sanctus was submitted by the Hispanic task force who selected music from Hispanic sources for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal. The song, typical of the many folk choruses known by evangelical Christians throughout Latin America, is often paired with "No Hay Dios" (517) in the Hispanic community, where the tradition is to sing several choruses together in medley fashion. Bert Polman (PHH 37) translated the Spanish text into English, and AnnaMae Meyer Bush (PHH 268) supplied the harmonization, both in 1985 for the 1987 Psalter Hymnal.

This hymn text is an ascription of holiness and glory to God by his angels and by us, God's people. It affirms that the whole cosmos testifies to God's glory (as in Ps. 19:1) and concludes with a prayer for salvation ("Hosanna" means "save us, O Lord").

Liturgical Use:
Traditionally the Sanctus is sung at the end of the Great Thanksgiving Prayer, which begins the liturgy for the Lord's Supper (see Psalter Hymnal, pp. 973-974), but this acclamation may also be used for praising God on many other occasions in Christian worship (including Palm Sunday).

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

Tune Information:

The tune's title, MERENGUE, refers to a Hispanic dance form common in Cuba and Haiti; some of the dance's rhythmic characteristics are stylized in this music. Intended for rather majestic, unison singing, this chorus needs to be supported with strong accompaniment on keyboard and/ or guitars. Hand clapping or the use of other percussion instruments would also be appropriate.

--Psalter Hymnal Handbook

MIDI file: MIDI Preview
(Faith Alive Christian Resources)
More media are available on the text authority and tune authority pages.

Suggestions or corrections? Contact us