Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
Reginald Heber was born April 21, 1783, to a minister and his wife in an English village. After a happy childhood and a good education in the village school, he enrolled at Oxford where he excelled in poetry and became fast friends with Sir Walter Scott. Following graduation, he succeeded his father as vicar in his family’s parish, and for sixteen years he faithfully served his flock. His bent toward poetry naturally gave him a keen and growing interest in hymnody. He sought to lift the literary quality of hymns, and he also dreamed of publishing a collection of high-caliber hymns corresponding to the church year for use by liturgical churches. But the Bishop of London wouldn’t go along with it, and Heber’s plans were disappointed. He continued writing hymns for his own church, however, and it was during the sixteen years in the obscure parish of Hodnet that Heber wrote all 57 of his hymns. It was after his death that his widow, finding his 57 hymns in a trunk, succeeded in publishing his Hymns Written and Adapted to the Weekly Service of the Church Year. In this volume was the great Trinitarian hymn based on Revelation 4: 8-11. “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.”