“Hey Chinaka, please I
wanna ask why the ‘Gloria’ is not sung during Advent, I thought it was only Lenten
Season that we skip it? Thanks! You can post it on the Catholic Page to educate
others as well.
Hi dear friend, thanks
for being patient with me inasmuch as I couldn’t respond to your question in a
timely manner, probably due to my holidays… I’m sorry about that.
To begin with, the aim
of liturgy is to serve the need to worship God in “full, active, and conscious
participation” – according to The Constitution
on the Sacred Liturgy
( Sacrosanctum Concilium, no.14). The omission of
the Gloria in Advent and Lent serves a better and appropriate worship of God vis-à-vis
the sentiments of the season.
The “GLORIA”: – “Glory to God in the
highest and on earth peace to people of good will…”
These are the first words of the
“Gloria” that we recite (and sometimes sing) every Sunday at Mass and
Solemnities, except in Advent and Lent. What exactly does this mean to us?
In the Catholic Church, Lent is a
penitential season.  This means that it is a time for us to be honest
about what needs to change in our lives as well as how we need to grow closer
to God.  I compare it to going to a physician and focusing on how they can
help better our health, and as a result, we refrain from a few things/diets.
Just as the church
refrains from the Gloria during Lent, She does the same during Advent,
which is another great season of preparation for a greater mystery – the
Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. This is because Advent is a penitential season
of the Church, just like Lent. Even though the Church sings “Alleluia” during
Advent, She gives us this penitential season to call us to the same conversion
that St. John the Baptist called the Jews as they awaited the arrival of the
Messiah. Because the Gloria is a prayer of joy, it is suppressed during Advent
and is not heard until the vigil Mass of Christmas Eve. In other words, the
Gloria is a song of exaltation and joy.
The Gloria is the Mother of all Carols, hence, we
don’t sing the mother-of-all-carols, – the song of the angels, until the
appropriate time. “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” is heaven’s response to the
glorious birth of Jesus. If the angels can wait until that holy night to sing
it, I suppose the rest of us can also wait too.
What was the context and origin of the “Gloria”?
When Christ was born, Luke tells us that a host of angels appeared to some
shepherds to announce the glorious birth of the Saviour: “And
suddenly there appeared with the angel a great multitude of the heavenly host,
praising God and saying: “Glory
to God
in the highest,
and on
to men
on whom His
favour rests!”
When the angels had left them and gone into
heaven, the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us go to Bethlehem and see this
thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.’ ” (Lk. 2:13-15)
Likewise, as we journey through this season of
advent, a period of (twofold) preparation for the coming of Christ (that is, Christ
who came as man 2000 years ago, and Christ who will come again in Glory at the
Last Day), we remain in penitential mood, and prepare our hearts to receive Him
in the spirit of repentance. Hence, the “Gloria” begins to make sense from the
vigil of Christmas (which was the night the host of angels first sang it), and
not in this season of advent. In this regards, we will be rendering a full,
appropriate, active and conscious worship to God in the light of the Season of
the Church, and in this vein, Advent; thus, serving the goal of the Sacred
I believe this answers the question…


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Chinaka Justin Mbaeri

A staunch Roman Catholic and an Apologist of the Christian faith.

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