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.
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)
Gloria (Glory) (Luke 2:14)
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.