Thursday, February 22, 2007

Good Ole Hymn

The Gloria in Excelsis is a Christian hymn that comes to us from the fourth century (or perhaps even earlier) and is still sung in Lutheran worship today. And there is a beautiful relationship between its contents and the Lutheran understanding of worship expressed in The Defense of the Augsburg Confession (Ap), IV, 154. For those of you who do not know, the Defense was written by the Lutherans in 1531 against the Roman Catholics who disagreed with many of their positions. The Gloria in Excelsis and Ap, IV, 154 both contain the person and work of Christ at the center, where sinners seek mercy and the forgiveness of sins from Him. Ap, IV, 154 says concerning the sinful woman of Luke 7:36-50, “[She] came with this conviction about Christ: that she should seek the forgiveness of sins from him. This is the highest way to worship Christ.” It truly is the highest way to worship Christ when we approach Him with contrition and faith in order to receive the forgiveness of sins. The Gloria in Excelsis truly captures this evangelical Lutheran understanding of worship as it exclaims, “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 alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord.”

Where did the Gloria in Excelsis come from? Also known as the Hymnus Angelicus (The Hymn of Angels), it is first found in the Apostolic Constitutions (VII:47), and Athanasius references it. The Lutheran liturgical historian, Luther Reed, documents that it “was a ‘private psalm’ sung in Greek in the morning office but not as a part of the Mass.” Liturgical historian Theodor Klauser states that it was not until Pope Sergius of the 7th century that it became an integral part of the Mass. This was due to it being an enthusiastic hymn of praise, which was not suitable to the popular Roman understanding of worship at that time, which was more somber. Prior to this, Pope Symmachus (5th century) only allowed the Bishops to chant it, while the Priests were only allowed to do so on Easter. Reed records that it was even later (11th century) that celebrants began chanting the opening phrase during the Mass, while the choir chanted the rest.

What is contained in the Gloria in Excelsis? It begins by quoting the angels in Luke 2:14 who exclaimed, "Glory to God in the highest." It immediately centers everything upon the Triune God. Reed states that it “lifts the worshipers from thought of self to contemplation of the divine.” It also echoes the words of the angels so that the worshipers on earth join the angels who are worshiping God in heaven. Luther realized this and it caused him to say that the Gloria “did not grow, nor was it made on earth, but it came down from heaven.” The middle section contains a confession of the deity of Jesus Christ where it says that He is the “Only begotten Son.” Here it recognizes that the God-man Jesus Christ is the only person who can forgive our sins. It does this again when it quotes John the Baptist from John 1:29 who said, "Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!" It also recognizes that Christ did not remain dead. But he arose from death and is sitting at the right hand of the Father. The Dean of Chapel at Concordia Seminary, James Brauer, affirms this when he wrote, “Jesus’ death on the cross was not the end of him. Rather, he now sits at the right hand of the Father, watching over the universe, over the church, and – joy of all joys! – over us.”

This glorious hymn of praise theologically contains the person and work of Jesus Christ and ascribes salvation through the Triune God alone. It causes our hearts to be lifted up to heaven, worshiping God by ascribing to Him glory, the forgiveness of sins, mercy, and holiness. Reed writes, “The Gloria in Excelsis is not merely a hymn of praise to the Father, but a‘jubilant anthem of redemption…’ it grounds our faith and worship again on the incarnation, the atonement, and the perpetual intercession of our Lord.” It seeks mercy and forgiveness from the Triune God alone and is therefore in accordance with the evangelical Lutheran understanding of worship as articulated by Melanchthon in Ap, IV, 154.

15 Comments:

Anonymous Kathleen said...

I loved the following from your blog:
This is the highest way to worship Christ.” It truly is the highest way to worship Christ when we approach Him with contrition and faith in order to receive the forgiveness of sins. The Gloria in Excelsis truly captures this evangelical Lutheran understanding of worship as it exclaims, “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 alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord.”

I agree heartily. I recently was desiring a breakthough in the worship of my Savior, when the Holy Spirit brought to mind something about which I needed to repent. After repenting, joy, worship, and satisfaction with God overfilled my soul like a flood.

It also caused me to get out an old book that is now out of print called Repentance - the Joy-filled Life by M. Basilea Schlink. She begins this short book with the verse, "Who is a God like thee, pardoning iniquity," Micah 7:18. Who indeed! Praise Him!

Sat Feb 24, 05:24:00 PM EST  
Blogger Augustine said...

Hi Kathleen,
Welcome to my blog and thanks for posting!

I am so glad that after repenting, you experienced joy, worship, and satisfaction with God.

The first commandment is: "You shall have no other gods before me." When we confess our sins to Jesus we are saying, "You are my God Jesus, and no one else. You alone can save me. You alone can forgive me." How great it is to cast all our cares and sins at the feet of Jesus Christ. Because He first loved us, we can now love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength.

Sat Feb 24, 07:35:00 PM EST  
Blogger Augustine said...

For those of you who are interested this is the text of the Gloria in Excelsis (Latin for Glory to God in the Highest):

Glory in the heights to God
And on earth peace to men 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, God the Father almighty.
Lord the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father.
You who take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.
You who take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer.
You who sit 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. Amen.

Modern Paraphrase

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. Amen.

Sun Feb 25, 05:04:00 PM EST  
Blogger oakleyses said...

tiffany and co, rolex watches, air max, cheap uggs, louis vuitton handbags, tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren, longchamp handbags, polo ralph lauren outlet, jordan shoes, louboutin shoes, oakley sunglasses, christian louboutin, louis vuitton outlet stores, burberry outlet, nike shoes, longchamp outlet, nike free, oakley sunglasses cheap, chanel handbags, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet, ray ban sunglasses, air max, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton outlet, ray ban sunglasses, replica watches, cheap oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, ugg outlet, uggs outlet, louis vuitton, oakley sunglasses, louboutin outlet, ray ban sunglasses, gucci outlet, longchamp handbags, ugg boots clearance, louboutin, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet online sale, louis vuitton outlet, prada outlet, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, tiffany and co, uggs, prada handbags

Mon Oct 12, 11:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

air max, longchamp, air jordan, sac longchamp pas cher, kate spade handbags, nike air force, ralph lauren, nike roshe, coach factory outlet, michael kors pas cher, sac hermes, true religion jeans, oakley pas cher, new balance pas cher, converse pas cher, true religion jeans, coach outlet, nike free pas cher, mulberry, ray ban sunglasses, air max, nike roshe run pas cher, ray ban pas cher, abercrombie and fitch, polo lacoste, hollister, polo ralph lauren, timberland, michael kors uk, coach outlet store online, coach purses, nike free, north face, hogan outlet, north face, true religion outlet, lululemon outlet online, air max pas cher, vans pas cher, hollister, sac burberry, nike blazer, nike air max, michael kors, vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet, nike tn, sac guess, true religion outlet, louboutin

Mon Oct 12, 11:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

hollister clothing store, nike roshe run, instyler, vans, gucci, ghd, mcm handbags, air max, chi flat iron, reebok outlet, air max, converse, baseball bats, longchamp, jimmy choo outlet, mont blanc, soccer jerseys, bottega veneta, babyliss pro, abercrombie, north face outlet, valentino shoes, vans shoes, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, ray ban, lululemon outlet, louboutin, oakley, giuseppe zanotti, abercrombie and fitch, nike trainers, birkin bag, nfl jerseys, nike huaraches, converse shoes, beats by dre, hollister, insanity workout, ralph lauren, herve leger, north face jackets, p90x, iphone cases, timberland boots, asics running shoes, wedding dresses, celine handbags

Mon Oct 12, 11:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

moncler, sac louis vuitton, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton uk, swarovski crystal, toms shoes, canada goose, michael kors handbags, pandora jewelry, supra shoes, sac lancel, canada goose, thomas sabo, montre homme, moncler outlet, coach outlet store online, sac louis vuitton, juicy couture outlet, ugg boots, links of london, ugg, rolex watches, moncler, moncler, moncler, canada goose uk, canada goose outlet, canada goose jackets, moncler, ugg, juicy couture, marc jacobs, karen millen, ugg, canada goose, louis vuitton, moncler, michael kors outlet online, hollister, pandora charms, swarovski, canada goose, pandora jewelry, ugg pas cher, doke gabbana, barbour, louis vuitton, barbour, moncler, canada goose, wedding dresses, pandora charms

Mon Oct 12, 11:44:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

christian louboutin outlet, louboutin pas cher, uggs on sale, sac longchamp pas cher, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses wholesale, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, polo ralph lauren outlet online, tiffany jewelry, jordan pas cher, nike free, prada handbags, longchamp outlet, kate spade outlet, louis vuitton outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp outlet, cheap oakley sunglasses, nike air max, longchamp pas cher, ugg boots, christian louboutin shoes, christian louboutin uk, nike roshe, replica watches, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, nike free run, tiffany and co, air max, tory burch outlet, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, polo outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors pas cher, ray ban sunglasses, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton, nike outlet, polo ralph lauren, ugg boots, nike air max, burberry pas cher, gucci handbags

Thu May 05, 01:45:00 AM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

true religion outlet, coach purses, hollister uk, michael kors outlet online, replica handbags, abercrombie and fitch uk, hollister pas cher, coach outlet, ray ban uk, oakley pas cher, michael kors outlet, new balance, north face uk, true religion outlet, kate spade, hogan outlet, lululemon canada, nike free uk, michael kors outlet online, nike tn, nike air max uk, michael kors, ralph lauren uk, nike air force, converse pas cher, coach outlet store online, nike blazer pas cher, nike air max uk, nike roshe run uk, sac vanessa bruno, north face, uggs outlet, michael kors outlet, guess pas cher, michael kors outlet, nike air max, sac hermes, burberry handbags, mulberry uk, uggs outlet, timberland pas cher, michael kors, vans pas cher, polo lacoste, true religion jeans, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet online, burberry outlet, ray ban pas cher

Thu May 05, 01:48:00 AM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

ray ban, reebok outlet, oakley, gucci, new balance shoes, hollister, mcm handbags, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, nike roshe run, mont blanc pens, converse outlet, nike trainers uk, abercrombie and fitch, p90x workout, insanity workout, asics running shoes, wedding dresses, nike huaraches, longchamp uk, nfl jerseys, instyler, hermes belt, north face outlet, baseball bats, celine handbags, beats by dre, jimmy choo outlet, converse, soccer jerseys, herve leger, ghd hair, lululemon, soccer shoes, timberland boots, bottega veneta, babyliss, nike air max, iphone cases, hollister clothing, ralph lauren, vans outlet, mac cosmetics, north face outlet, vans, hollister, ferragamo shoes, giuseppe zanotti outlet, nike air max, louboutin

Thu May 05, 01:50:00 AM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

links of london, juicy couture outlet, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, pandora charms, louis vuitton, ugg uk, lancel, moncler outlet, supra shoes, pandora uk, marc jacobs, moncler, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, canada goose outlet, toms shoes, hollister, coach outlet, swarovski crystal, moncler uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, canada goose outlet, canada goose jackets, moncler, moncler outlet, ugg, karen millen uk, pandora jewelry, barbour uk, pandora jewelry, louis vuitton, replica watches, doudoune moncler, canada goose uk, moncler, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, canada goose, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, thomas sabo, swarovski, canada goose, montre pas cher, ugg pas cher, barbour, moncler, louis vuitton

Thu May 05, 01:53:00 AM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

polo ralph lauren, nike roshe, ray ban sunglasses, uggs on sale, ray ban sunglasses, louis vuitton outlet, christian louboutin, tiffany jewelry, sac longchamp pas cher, oakley sunglasses, michael kors pas cher, prada outlet, louis vuitton outlet, longchamp pas cher, jordan shoes, longchamp outlet, longchamp outlet, christian louboutin shoes, replica watches, burberry pas cher, longchamp outlet, louboutin pas cher, prada handbags, jordan pas cher, polo ralph lauren outlet online, kate spade outlet, nike outlet, christian louboutin uk, nike air max, air max, replica watches, oakley sunglasses, chanel handbags, nike free, cheap oakley sunglasses, oakley sunglasses wholesale, louis vuitton, gucci handbags, louis vuitton, ugg boots, tiffany and co, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, tory burch outlet, polo outlet, ray ban sunglasses, nike free run, louis vuitton outlet, oakley sunglasses

Sun Jul 31, 11:33:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

sac hermes, hollister uk, converse pas cher, nike roshe run uk, uggs outlet, polo lacoste, sac vanessa bruno, michael kors outlet online, north face, oakley pas cher, hogan outlet, michael kors outlet online, true religion outlet, nike air max uk, nike air max uk, michael kors outlet, new balance, coach outlet, timberland pas cher, coach outlet store online, ray ban uk, ralph lauren uk, replica handbags, mulberry uk, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet online, coach purses, north face uk, michael kors outlet, michael kors, burberry handbags, abercrombie and fitch uk, nike air max, michael kors outlet online, uggs outlet, nike blazer pas cher, nike free uk, guess pas cher, michael kors, nike air force, true religion jeans, kate spade, nike tn, vans pas cher, true religion outlet, lululemon canada, true religion outlet, hollister pas cher, ray ban pas cher

Sun Jul 31, 11:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

soccer jerseys, nike huaraches, vans outlet, hollister, louboutin, ferragamo shoes, new balance shoes, jimmy choo outlet, nike air max, asics running shoes, insanity workout, nike roshe run, converse outlet, ray ban, lululemon, baseball bats, babyliss, p90x workout, hermes belt, nike trainers uk, ralph lauren, bottega veneta, mcm handbags, vans, nike air max, lancel, soccer shoes, timberland boots, instyler, chi flat iron, beats by dre, oakley, nfl jerseys, gucci, abercrombie and fitch, hollister clothing, herve leger, north face outlet, ghd hair, north face outlet, hollister, mont blanc pens, valentino shoes, wedding dresses, converse, longchamp uk, reebok outlet, iphone cases, celine handbags, mac cosmetics

Sun Jul 31, 11:47:00 PM EDT  
Blogger oakleyses said...

coach outlet, ugg,ugg australia,ugg italia, louis vuitton, thomas sabo, louis vuitton, canada goose uk, moncler outlet, moncler, swarovski, juicy couture outlet, ugg uk, pandora jewelry, moncler outlet, moncler, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, wedding dresses, ugg,uggs,uggs canada, swarovski crystal, ugg pas cher, replica watches, hollister, moncler uk, ugg, canada goose, canada goose, links of london, louis vuitton, canada goose outlet, louis vuitton, pandora jewelry, doudoune moncler, supra shoes, pandora charms, pandora uk, marc jacobs, toms shoes, karen millen uk, montre pas cher, moncler, juicy couture outlet, canada goose outlet, canada goose, moncler, canada goose jackets

Sun Jul 31, 11:51:00 PM EDT  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home