Music Notes

Music News - Hymn of the Day

June 13, 2012

Text: Holy God, We Praise Thy Name

Translator: Clarence Walworth, 18201-900


Clarence Alphonsus Walworth graduated from Union College in Schenectady, New York. His early intention was to become a lawyer, but in the end he chose the Roman Catholic priesthood instead. He is known in hymnody only for his translation of the hymn Holy God, We Praise Thy Name.

Holy God We Praise Thy Name is a traditional Catholic hymn. It was originally from the late 1700s and was in German, but was translated into English in 1858.

The original of this hymn is attributed to hymnologist and compiler Ignaz Franz, and dates from 1774, with Walworth's translation coming nearly two centuries later. It is a great Trinitarian hymn of praise, which says in part:

1 Holy God, we praise your name; Lord of all, we bow before you. Saints on earth your rule acclaim; all in heaven above adore you. Infinite your vast domain; everlasting is your reign.

2 Hark, the glad celestial hymn angel choirs above are raising; cherubim and seraphim, in unceasing chorus praising, fill the heavens with sweet accord: "Holy, holy, holy Lord!"