“Holy, Holy, Holy!” has been chosen in a March Madness-like tournament as “the greatest hymn of all time.”
The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada announced the winner on Thursday (July 18), the last day of its annual conference in Dallas.
“Some matchups were real nail-biters, while in others one hymn blew its opposition out of the water!” reads a Thursday post on the society’s Facebook page. “Yesterday was the final round and we can safely say that the Greatest Hymn of All Time — as chosen by you — is: Holy, Holy Holy!!!”
More than 800 people, mostly members of the 1,200-member Hymn Society, voted on the society’s website, on Facebook and, in the last rounds, in person at the conference during the competition that featured brackets similar to the springtime NCAA basketball tradition.
Hymn experts said it was fitting, if not surprising, that “Holy, Holy, Holy!” — which trounced “Amazing Grace,” 70% to 30% in the second round — defeated its musical challengers.
Christopher Phillips, author of the 2018 book “The Hymnal: A Reading History,” said “Holy, Holy, Holy!” is “something of a natural champion among hymns of various eras.
“The words and music have a stately, majestic quality, something many worshippers want to associate with the traditional hymn repertoire,” he said.
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Source: Religion News Service