Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to God’s people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks;
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
History and Origins of Gloria Prayer
It is a commonly held belief in Christianity that the Gloria is one of the oldest hymns of the Church that was even sung by the Angels the night Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. Although it is not well known who composed the hymn, the origin of the hymn can be traced back to the third century of the Church. Traditionally it is also believed that the prayer was composed and translated to Latin by Saint Hilary of Poitiers in the year 360.
Biblically, the Gloria is considered an Angelic hymn because it was sung by the Angels in Heaven the night Christ was born. Luke 2:13 reads: “And suddenly there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.”
Although devout Christians might have grown up singing the Gloria at Church, however, the hymn wasn’t part of the liturgy. According to Monsignor Charles Pope, “This hymn was not originally part of the Mass but was probably sung as the Te Deum is today, as a thanksgiving hymn for feasts and celebration.”
Traces of the Angelic hymn were first found in Greek and Syrian sources, where a version of the Easter hymn was recited at dang and after the conclusion of the morning prayer. It became a staple of Western Christianity when the hymn was incorporated into the Papal Christmas Mass.
Originally, the Gloria was recited at Sunday Masses and feast days of Martyrs when a Bishop presided. And priests were allowed to say the Gloria during the Easter Vigil only. However, by the eleventh century, the Gloria became a common part of the liturgy and was sung at every Sunday Mass and feast days.
Gloria Prayer Meaning
In this prayer, we are glorifying God, therefore, the phrase ‘Glory be,’ is used heavily. It indicates that we worship, praise, adore, and thank the Glory of God which is rightfully his and his alone. His glory allows us to transport us, transform us, elevate us, and excite us.
This prayer addresses the Holy Trinity which comprises God the Father, Jesus his Son, and the Holy Spirit. By addressing all three persons of God, we are trying to indicate that God the Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are all equally considered as God.
The phrase “As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,” is said to remind us of the eternal nature of God. God will never change. He is omnipresent. He was here before time began and he will still be there when time ends.
Significance of Gloria Prayer
The Gloria is meant to create a spirit of awe in our souls as it reminds us to praise the glory of our hearts and souls. Father Jeremy Driscoll writes in his book ‘What Happens at Mass,’ “We are singing now for the same reason the angels sang; namely, that God has sent his Son among us born in our same flesh. Humble and lowly he comes among us, and so, struck with awe at this unexpected shape of the divine plan, as the angels themselves were, we cry out in a hymn to God’s glory.”
The Gloria is considered an incredibly important angelic hymn because it tells us the story of Jesus Christ. It is like a three-act play that summarizes the story of Christ. For instance, it recounts his coming, his redeeming death, and his triumphant resurrection and ascension into heaven.
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Read more: Angel de la Guarda
Gloria can be used in a multitude of ways. It can be a way to either open or end your personal prayers, a way to bring peace and focus to your mind, a way to thank God for his goodness, or a way to meditate on the nature of God. This prayer is an excellent way to turn your focus toward the mysteries of faith and the nature of God.