I’ve written a few posts on parts of the Mass ranging from the Confiteor, Concluding Rite to the Holy Eucharist. Now, I’d like to focus on Gloria, a great hymn of praise!
After the procession of the celebrant and greeting, the gathered are directed by the priest or deacon to, “let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries.” This is followed by a brief moment of silence. This moment of silence allows us to bring to mind our sins, whether big or small. Then then the Penitential Rite begins. There are many formulas that can be invoked such as Kyrie, Eleison (Lord, Have Mercy) or the Confiteor.
Primarily, during the rite, we’re called to acknowledge our sin. This is a general acknowledgment of sin. No, this act doesn’t replace the need for Sacrament of Reconciliation, but instead, we all collectively confess our sin and need of mercy as a body.
Sin is very personal, as we all are subjected to God. However, sin weakens to the Body of Christ because if one member of the body is impacted then this could potentially influence the other parts. It’s like spiritual atrophy. During the rite, one should feel a sense of disgrace and contrition since we’ve failed to love God and neighbor in some way.
After the Penitential Rite is the Gloria, a magnificent hymn in prayer to show adoration and praise to God as we’ve just confessed our sin. In this song, we lift God with our voices high and praise Him with thanksgiving for the compassion extended.
It is appropriate that we show God this adoration because He is worthy of such high exaltation! Without God’s Divine love in His Son who takes away the sin of the world, we’re left to our own ways. Abandoned without pardon for sin. As a result, it’s good that we give due praise to the Holy Trinity for their saving acts in our lives.
To many Catholics, the Gloria is just a song that’s sung as “religion” as if the practice is mundane. However, if you really understand the order of the Mass and recognize the need for confession of sin and mercy from the Highest, then the hymn comes alive to take on new meaning. Always remember, the Mass is an offering and we’re there to offer ourselves as a sacrifice. Therefore, this song is now a means of expressing praise to God for his lovingkindness toward our prayer offered to Him.
Gloria is a prayer that brings down heavens abundant joy in our lives. In that moment of singing, we’re rejoicing. We too join the choirs of heaven that praise God. At that moment between the rite and hymn, we’re led out of the wilderness and enter the light.
A joyful moment!
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