Hymnal measure (a quatrain, usually iambic, alternately rhymed) is so called for being the preferred verse form for English hymns (such as "Amazing Grace"). It has been popular in English secular poetry as well, "though it almost always suggests the hymn, directly or ironically" [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," 1986].
"hymn of praise, song of triumph;" in general use, "a loud and joyous song," 1590s, from Latin paean "hymn of deliverance, hymn to a help-giving god," from Greek paian "hymn, chant, hymn to Apollo," from Paian, Paiōn, a name of the god of healing; originally the physician of the gods (in Homer), later merged with Apollo; literally "one who touches" (i.e. "one who heals by a touch"), probably taken from a phrase or word at the beginning of the hymn, from paio "to touch, strike." The notion seems to be either a cry asking for aid in war or other trouble, or a giving thanks for aid received.
late 14c., Latin, initial word of the "angelic hymn" (Isaiah vi.3) concluding the preface of the Eucharist and during which a bell is rung, literally "holy" (see saint (n.)). It renders Hebrew qadhosh in the hymn of adoration.
"book of hymns, directions, etc. for use in processions," mid-15c., from Medieval Latin processionale, from noun use of neuter of processionalis "pertaining to a procession," from Late Latin processio (see procession). Meaning "hymn sung during a religious procession" is by 1884 (short for processional hymn).
principal Hindu sacred book, 1776, Reig Beid, from Sanskrit rigveda, from rg- "praise, hymn, spoken stanza," literally "brightness" (from PIE *erkw- "to radiate, beam; praise") + veda "knowledge" (from PIE *weid-o-, from root *weid- "to see"). A thousand hymns, orally transmitted, probably dating from before 1000 B.C.E. Related: Rig-vedic.