The Tabernacle Choir Blog

The Writer of “Holy, Holy, Holy” Was the Bishop of Calcutta

One of the more popular videos on the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s YouTube channel is “Holy, Holy, Holy.” It is a Christian hymn written by Reginald Heber. Born in England in 1783, Heber was a hymn writer who attained a reputation as a poet while attending Oxford University. After being ordained in 1807, he served as a clergyman for 16 years, where hymn writing integrated with his other responsibilities. Most of the 57 hymns he wrote in his lifetime are still used today.

While Heber wrote the lyrics, John B. Dykes was the composer. He was also an English clergyman but is most well known for the over 300 hymns he composed.

In 1823 he was beatified as the second bishop of Calcutta in India. During his service there, he suddenly died at age 42 due to a combination of his overall health and inhospitable climate conditions.

The Mormon Tabernacle has been performing “Holy, Holy, Holy” for many years, and it is included on the album Then Sings My Soul. Here is the Choir and Orchestra at Temple Square performing “Holy, Holy, Holy” from episode 4337 of Music & the Spoken Word.