The Gloria in Excelsis is one of the oldest hymns in Christian tradition. Also known as the “Greater Doxology,” its beginnings go back to the 2nd century. Many Christians around the world still recite these words as part of weekly worship, prayer, and devotionals, including Roman Catholics, Anglicans, Orthodox, Lutherans, and many others. Its text has been translated from the original Greek of the New Testament (the opening words are the words spoken by the Angels in Luke 2:14), and many different variants exist. Among all versions, the joyful message is clear: God is to be glorified, Christ died for our sins, and God alone is holy and in unity with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.
The version I share here (composed by William Mathias) was recorded at Washington National Cathedral on May 5, 2013 during the 11:15 Holy Eucharist.
Click here to listen to the Gloria.
Glory to God in the highest,
And peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
Almighty God and Father:
We worship you,
We give you thanks,
We praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ,
Only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God:
You take away the sin of the world,
Have mercy on us.
You are seated at the right hand of the Father,
Receive our prayer.
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.
A medieval icon depicting the Trinity, painted by Andre Rublev c. 1400.