Gloria (Glory) (Luke 2:14)

Full Text

Glory, glory, glory, glory be to God on high,
and on earth peace to the people in whom God is well pleased.

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Scripture References


Gloria (Glory) (Luke 2:14)

Introductory/Framing Text

Pablo Sosa (b. 1933) grew up and was educated in Argentina, the U.S. (Westminster Choir College), and Germany. For years he pastored a large Methodist congregation in Buenos Aires, Argentina while composing songs, leading choirs, editing hymnals, producing religious broadcasts, and teaching liturgy and hymnology at a seminary. 
Meanwhile, life in Argentina pushed him to question his assumptions about what’s best for congregational singing. During Argentina’s “dirty war,” two young women from his church were disappeared, possibly for working among the poor. As Catholic and Protestant churches hesitated whether to speak out, remain silent, or support the government, many people lost faith. Economic meltdown after the war plunged many middle-class Argentinians into poverty. Sosa’s growing social awareness widened his vision for “lifting up hope with a song.” He often describes worship as “the fiesta of the faithful,” where all are welcome and all music is seen as “part of the ‘song of the earth,’ which answers the psalmist’s call ‘Sing joyfully to God, all the earth!’ (Psalm 98:4).” 
Whether in his home church, Iglesia Evangélica Metodista La Tercera (Third Methodist Church) in Buenos Aires, or at churches or conferences around the world, he urges people, “Put your body into worship!” And he reminds them of the biblical connection between justice and worship.
— CICW Website Bio (http://www.calvin.edu/worship)

Call to Worship

God is here! The Messiah has come!
We open our eyes to see him and lift our hearts to worship him.
We have come to exalt the name of Jesus, our Savior and King,
and to bring glory to God the Father.
In our worship we demonstrate the mind of Christ
in declaring to God that he is the supreme authority in our lives.
We bow before him in submission to our Lord and King.
Come, worship the Lord!
[Reformed Worship 13:13]
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Words of Praise

Profession of Our Church’s Faith (see also section 3.6)
1 In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things came into being through him,
and without him not one thing came into being.
What has come into being in him was life,
and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him;
yet the world did not know him.
He came to what was his own,
and his own people did not accept him.
But to all who received him, who believed in his name,
he gave power to become children of God,
who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh
or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us,
and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.
—John 1:1-5, 9-14, NRSV
— Worship Sourcebook Edition Two

Gloria (Glory) (Luke 2:14)

Tune Information

F Major or modal


Musical Suggestion

This song was written for the children of Sosa’s congregation when they needed an angel song for their Christmas pageant. He composed it in the joyful cueca rhythm, with its playful alteration between 3/4 and 6/8.
The song can be sung with no special accompaniment, but if you have even a small choir and a good pianist, treat them and the whole congregation to the joyful setting Sosa composed later for this song. After the congregation is finished singing their part, the women of the choir (representing the angels) echo the “Gloria” three times in two parts (soprano and alto, skipping the C), each time getting softer (or dropping out voices) along with the rising piano part, as the angels disappear back into the heavenly places.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 65)
— Emily Brink

Gloria (Glory) (Luke 2:14)

Hymn Story/Background

When the children of his congregation in Argentia realized at the last minute that they didn’t have an “angel’s song” for their Christmas pagent, Pablo Sosa, an internationally known pastor, theologian, and composer, came to the rscue and wrote this song for them.
— Emily Brink
General Settings
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