“Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to people of good will” (Luke 2:15)
The Gloria is sung on Sundays outside of Advent and Lent*, solemnities and feasts.
Often referred to as “the angelic hymn,” the gloria was first intoned by the angels from heaven for the birth of Christ on earth. The Gloria is a true hymn. Its opening burst of praise overflows into a series of joyful cries addressed to the Father: “we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.” The hymn goes on to implore the mercy of the Son, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.
In singing the Gloria, the church relives the experience of Saint Stephen who, “full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).
Gazing on Christ, the Church praises him: “You alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High.” The final lines of the Gloria soar into the blinding mystery of the Trinity: “Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.” The hymn ends where it began: in the heavens.
*Because of the austerity of Lent and Advent, the Gloria is not used during those seasons except for the few feasts and solemnities which may occur then.
“The Gloria is the ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, assembled in the Holy Spirit, praises and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. The text of this hymn is not to be replaced by any other. The Gloria is begun by the priest or, as needs dictate, by a cantor or a choir, but is sung by everyone together, or by the people alternately with the choir, or by the choir alone. If not sung, it is to be recited either by all or by two parts of the congregation responding to each other.
The Gloria is sung or said on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and in special, more solemn celebrations. “(GIRM, 53).
Glory, glory to God. Glory to God in the highest.
Glory, glory to God. And on earth, peace to people…people of goodwill.
We praise you, we bless you, we adore you… we glorify you.
We give you thanks for your great glory.
Lord God, heavenly King, God almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ only begotten son
Lord God, Lamb of God son of the father.
You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
You take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father…have mercy on us.
For you alone are the Holy one, you alone are the Lord.
You alone are the most high, Jesus Christ.
With the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.
Information provided in part by Father Mark-Daniel Kirby O Cist, PhD. Copyright © 2005 Archdiocese of Chicago, Liturgy Training Publications