OLPH Parish | Advent | Glooooooooooooooria, In Excelsis Deo

OLPH Parish | Advent | Glooooooooooooooria, In Excelsis Deo

Our Theme for this Week: Why we love Christmas Carols/Hymns.

Our days are filled with Christmas music this time of year, let us draw close and consider why we love these song/hymns.

Angels We Have Heard on High…

Advent is a time to gather and wait for Jesus.  On Sunday we reached the midpoint and lit the pink candle on the advent wreath.  As a child I always liked the pink candle best.  It seemed special because it was different than the others.  Prettier in my small eyes.

Over the years as I have grown in my faith and come to have a deeper understanding of advent especially how purple symbolizes prayer, penance, and sacrifice, but I still really look forward to the lighting of the pink candle.  It’s the Shepherd candle or the candle of Joy.  We are shifting our focus a little bit in anticipation of the coming of Jesus.  It’s a time to rejoice.

The shepherds were the first to receive the glorious news of the birth of Jesus.  We don’t know much about them other than they were simple men caring for their flocks.
In Luke’s narrative of the birth of Jesus we find in Chapter 2 an angel speaking to the shepherds living in the fields.

The Angel said “Do not be afraid, for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.”

All the people – That’s you.  That’s me!

And then 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 whom his favor rest.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the Highest) is known as the Hymn of the Angels.  It is often shortened to just Gloria.  The words plucked straight from the narrative.  I love this Christmas hymn.  I also love to sing, unfortunately, I am not one of those people that should have a microphone.  While singing at mass I like to think that my guardian angel is filtering my voice before it reaches the heavens.

But at Christmas, I can’t help but belt out at the top of my lungs that one word, those 18 magnificent syllables, Glo – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – ri a!
We are all invited to rejoice in the birth of Jesus.  We are invited to come and meet Him.  To be like the humble shepherds.  To adore Him.  To sing with the multitudes.  To sing with all the earth.

This advent as you prepare your heart for the coming of our Lord Jesus what song are you excited about singing with the angels?

Angels we have heard on high
Sweetly singing o’er the plains
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be?
Which inspire your heavenly songs?
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!

See Him in a manger laid,
Jesus, Lord of heaven and earth;
Mary, Joseph, lend your aid,
With us sing our Savior’s birth.
Gloria in excelsis Deo!
Gloria in excelsis Deo!