Holy. It’s one of those words people use everyday, both in game and out of game, yet most people have a hard time articulating what it means.
There is an entire subset of Paladins known as Holy Paladins, and of course one of the three Paladin talent trees is the Holy Tree. Paladins rely on Holy Light and Holy Shock as a major part of their healing rotation. These heals are augmented by Holy Guidance and Holy Power. Protection Paladins use Holy Shield to ensure every attack is at worst case a block, and all Paladins use Holy Wrath as an AoE spell for those pesky undead.
Holy has a connotation of being in connection to a higher power, or the Divine. It is synonymous with Sacred. This is also part of the Paladin Vocabulary. Paladin tanks fulfill their Sacred Duty while Holy Paladins improve their Cleanse spell with Sacred Cleansing. It’s closely tied to our idea of Divinity. That’s why I think our minds get a little fuzzy when we try to pen down a meaning for Holy. Our limited, mortal, natural minds simply have trouble fully conceptualizing that which is so unlimited, immortal, and supernatural.
Holy is an adjective applied to objects used in religious worship or thought to be belonging to a higher power. Certain religions use Holy to describe certain days. For instance in Catholicism, there are certain calendar dates considered to be "Holy Days of Obligation”. The word is even invoked in non religious settings. In the Constitution of the United States, it refers to Sacred (or Holy) truths.
Holy carries with it the idea of being set apart. This comes from its usage in Judaism. The instruments and tools used in Jewish worship were Holy and set apart. In the Temple of Jerusalem was found the Holy of Holies where only the High Priest could go. It was believed that he would enter into the actual presence of God between the Angels on top of the Ark of the Covenant and make atonement for the sins of the people. He wore a bell around his ankle so those outside the Holy of Holies could here if he was still moving or had been struck dead by seeing God.
In Christianity, Holy is one of the major attributes of God. In both the Old Testament book of Isaiah and the New Testament book of Revelation, the reader is shown a picture of the throne room of Heaven where Angels surround God and are constantly praising him saying “Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord Gold Almighty”.
Holiness also refers to the change that occurs when a person begins a personal relationship with Christ. Christians believe at that point a spiritual transaction takes place. God takes all our mistakes, our rebellion, and everything we’ve done wrong (i.e. sin) and trades those for the Holiness of Christ. Our sin is put on Christ and dealt with at the Cross. God then sees the Christian as he sees his own Son. The Christian is Holy, Perfect, and Sinless in God's sight.
Holy is a word that helps to remind us of the Paladins origins as Priests (i.e. ‘Holy Men’). Paladins are set apart and are dedicated to their higher power. It reminds us that Paladins derive their power from the supernatural, and not from the study of magic. Despite what the Blood Elves may have believed, the Light is not just another form of magic, but the essences of something far more powerful.