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Santo, Santo, Santo (Holy, Holy, Holy)

Scripture References


Santo, Santo, Santo (Holy, Holy, Holy)

Additional Prayers

A Prayer of Acclamation
God of grace and God of glory, you are blessed by angels and archangels. You are acclaimed by saints and martyrs. Your name is renowned. Your glory fills heaven and earth for Jesus’ sake. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.

Santo, Santo, Santo (Holy, Holy, Holy)

Tune Information

e minor



Santo, Santo, Santo (Holy, Holy, Holy)

Hymn Story/Background

"Holy, Holy, Holy" is derived from the song of the angels in Isaiah's vision (Isaiah 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" (Psalm 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." 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 Psalm 19:1) and concludes with a prayer for salvation ("Hosanna" means "save us, O Lord").
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 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.
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Bert Frederick Polman (b. Rozenburg, Zuid Holland, the Netherlands, 1945; d. Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 1, 2013) was chair of the Music Department at Calvin College and senior research fellow for the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Dr. Bert studied at Dordt College (BA 1968), the University of Minnesota (MA 1969, PhD in musicology 1981), and the Institute for Christian Studies. Dr. Bert was a longtime is professor of music at Redeemer College in Ancaster, Ontario, and organist at Bethel Christian Reformed Church, Waterdown, Ontario. His teaching covered a wide range of courses in music theory, music history, music literature, and worship, and Canadian Native studies. His research specialty was Christian hymnody. He was also an organist, a frequent workshop leader at music and worship conferences, and contributor to journals such as The Hymn and Reformed Worship. Dr. Bert was co-editor of the Psalter Hymnal Handbook (1989), and served on the committees that prepared Songs for Life (1994) and Sing! A New Creation (2001), both published by CRC Publications.
— Bert Polman

Composer Information

Joel Navarro (b. 1955) is a professor of music at Singapore Bible College. Until 2014 he taught at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, teaching conducting and directing campus choirs. As the recipient of numerous awards in performance and education in his native Philippines, he is widely known as a conductor, educator, clinician, lecturer, writer, singer, recording artist, composer, arranger, stage actor, record producer, and music consultant. An active performer of music from different eras and ethnic traditions, he takes an ardent interest in post modern music and the music traditions and liturgies of the world. 
Navarro earned a master of music degree in choral conducting from the University of the Philippines and a doctor of musical arts degree in conducting at Michigan State University. He is known internationally as the former music director and conductor of the Ateneo de Manila University Glee Club, which has amassed a string of top prizes during the past 20 years in choral competitions worldwide. He also was a member of the 12 member editorial team for Lift Up Your Hearts.
— Lift Up Your Hearts (

AnnaMae Bush (b. October 13, 1947, Patterson, New Jersey) attended North 4th Street Christian School, Eastern Christian Middle and High School, graduating in 1965. She attended Calvin College and graduated in 1969 with a BA in Music and minors in Sociology, English, and Theology.  Bush attended Calvin Seminary and earned 2/3 of the credits necessary for MA in Worship but did not complete the program. Bush has worked as a youth advisor, United Evangelism Director in Muskegon MI, church secretary for 10 years at Church of the Servant CRC, Seminars in Christian Scholarship program coordinator at Calvin College, Advancement Associate at Inner City Christian Federation for 11 years, and is currently the Development Director at Oasis of Hope Center. She began writing hymns in 1974 when Church of the Servant encouraged her to write songs on the theme of servanthood for the installation of our first pastor.  Afterward she continued to write songs for communion, baptism, liturgical use, and family occasions. Bush is married to Peter L. Bush from Muskegon, and the couple has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.
— AnnaMae Bush
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