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What is the "Greatest Hymn of All Time"?


The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada held its annual convention recently, and just for fun, they created a March Madness style bracket with 32 hymns competing for “greatest hymn of all time.”
 
Entries included such stalwarts as “How Great Thou Art,” “Holy, Holy, Holy,” and “Amazing Grace.” They also included contemporary favorites such as Chris Tomlin’s “How Great Is Our God.”
 
The four finalists were:
 
Holy, Holy, Holy
O Come All Ye Faithful
O Come O Come Emmanuel
Holy God We Praise Thy Name

The last one may be a surprising choice if, like me, you have never heard it.  It was a popular Catholic hymn in 18th century Germany, later accepted as a Protestant hymn in the 20th century.
 
The Christmas hymns may also be surprising, but for those who like to sing, they are certainly wonderful hymns.
 
In the end, “Holy, Holy, Holy” narrowly prevailed over “O Come O Come Emmanuel.”  Anglican Bishop Reginald Heber wrote “Holy, Holy, Holy” for Trinity Sunday shortly before he died while serving in Calcutta in 1826.
 
By the way, the most licensed song in churches today (CCLI) is Matt Redman’s “10,000 Reasons (Bless The Lord).”

   
 
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