THE GLORIA: The Gloria is taken from the words sung by the angels over the fields of Bethlehem, announcing to the shepherds the good news of Christ’s birth. Christian who prays the Gloria joins the great men and women throughout salvation history. The Gloria praises God as the heavenly King. In the scripture, God is described as King (Ps 98:6, 99:4, Is 43:15) and as King of Israel (Is: 44.6), the King of Glory (Ps 24:7-10) and even the great King over all gods. We recognize him as King of Kings and express our willingness and acceptance of his reign in our lives.
The Gloria sums up the story of Christ saving work in 3 acts, moving from his coming, his redeeming death and to his triumphant resurrection and ascension into heaven.
Act 1- Jesus is addressed as “Son of the Father” and the “Only Begotten Son” which points to Jesus divinity. The gospel focuses on the reincarnation – the mystery in which the Son of God became man. This divine eternal word “became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14).
Act 2 – The “Gloria’s reference to Jesus as “Lamb of God” moves the story forward to Christ’s redemptive mission. Just as the lamb was sacrificed on that first Passover night in Egypt in order to spare Israel from death. So, Jesus is the new Passover lamb who is sacrificed on Calvary in order to save all humanity from the curse of death caused by sin.
Act 3 – We praise Jesus in the unique position of authority he possesses in heaven: “You are seated at the right hand of the Father” (Mk 16:19) In the Bible, the right hand is the position of authority (see Ps 110:1; Heb 1:13) In the Gloria, we bear witness to Christ’s reign over heaven and earth and his kingdom, which will have no end. (Dn 7:14) And we humbly ask him to “receive our prayer” and “have mercy on us”
The Gloria praises Jesus with 3 Biblical titles: the Holy one, the Lord and the Most High. Calling Jesus the “Most High” recalls a Biblical title for God as the Supreme Being over all other “Gods”. (Gn 14:18, Ps 7:17) The Old Testament commonly calls God as the Holy one. The New Testament proclaims Jesus as Lord. The Gloria concludes with the mention of the third Person of the Trinity: the Holy Spirit. Jesus is praised with the Holy Spirit, in glory of God the Father. Thus, the hymn succinctly culminates with homage paid to the Holy Trinity.
The collect or the opening Prayer : After the Gloria, the priest invites the people to pray a prayer known as the Collect. This prayer gathers together all the intentions of the people participating in the Mass and concludes the Introductory Rites.