Holy and Holies

Two organ hymns face off.

Technically, we’ve already polled Salve Regina, the Latin original for the tenth seeded “Hail Holy Queen.” But many Catholics probably don’t realize the connection of this much-loved hymn with the Marian antiphon sung at the conclusion of Compline. This version alone is likely worth it’s own spot in the poll. Have fun with it.

“Holy Holy Holy” is another hymn that didn’t start with a text-tune combination as we know it today. Reginald Heber, an Anglican bishop of India/Ceylon/Australia, better known as a hymnwriter, assembled the words loosely based on Isaiah 6 in the early 1800’s. His widow and friends published his collected hymns about a year after his 1826 death. About a generation later, English church musician and composer Dr John B. Dykes, penned a tune for this text. Owen Alstott based the Sanctus of his Heritage Mass on this tune, one of the most-sung in high-Church Christendom, and popular outside of it, too.

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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