Holy, Holy, Holy (Polman)

"Holy, holy, holy," angel hosts are singing ("Santo, santo, santo" cantan serafines)

Translator: Bertus Frederick Polman (1985)
Published in 8 hymnals

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Translator: Bertus Frederick Polman

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 orga… Go to person page >


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



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Instances (1 - 8 of 8)

Lift Up Your Hearts #814

Text InfoTune InfoAudio

Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #626

Renew! Songs and Hymns for Blended Worship #208

Santo, Santo, Santo #363

Scripture Song Database #1461

Songs for Life #66


With Heart and Voice #150

Page Scan

Worship and Rejoice #739

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