Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gloria Euphoria!

I've had the Gloria stuck in my head since Mass on Sunday. This is a good thing because I've been struggling with the new version since Advent. I'm not the only one. But we haven't been left to our own devices or chided for our lack of enthusiasm or faith because we don't sing. That was something new for me. In my experience, if you don't sing, something's wrong. You're rebellious & selfish for holding back your "joyful noise" from the Lord. But at my parish, the music director recognized our problem & addressed our need with kind instruction. He's been taking time out before Mass to teach a different verse each week & I think its finally starting to stick! Now that I know the music, I'm able to join in with the community as we sing this beautiful, ancient hymn of praise to God.

Why does it matter? It matters because the Mass is kind of like a wedding. Everything has its time & place & certain things need to happen in order for the ceremony to "go off without a hitch". But its not so much about getting through without hiccups. Its more about exhibiting reverence for the sanctity of the ritual. If part of the marriage ceremony is marred by mistakes or inexperience, that's it. You get one chance to muddle through it & you're done. In the Mass, we have many more chances to smooth out the rough edges... to "be holy as He is holy". And isn't that what the Christian life is all about? The Mass is not just another church service. Its an extraordinary event, a ritual that cuts through time & space. It binds us together with one another in Christ & it counts us with the community of saints & angels unseen. It recalls the history of our sin, the depth of God's grace & our salvation through Jesus Christ. The Gloria matters because it is part of the bond we share as believers.

Glory to God in the highest,
& on earth, peace to His people of good will
We praise You, we bless You,
we adore you, we glorify You
we give You thanks for Your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King, O 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.

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