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  • ninacrutchfield

Gloria En Excelsis Deo!

It is just minutes before midnight. Minutes before Christmas day. I sit with anticipation, waiting to sing my most favorite song of the season. Waiting for the arrival of the baby Jesus as Father carries him in and places him in the nativity nestled in front of the altar.


I shared in previous posts my love for midnight Christmas Mass. The traditional songs sung loud by everyone, the incense from the censor wafting the smell of frankincense over the crowd, all the grandeur proceeding the arrival of THE King. It all comes together and ignites all my senses, creating somewhat of a tingly sensation that I've never found anywhere else at any other time. It feels, smells, and looks like Christ's arrival.


I still love going to Midnight Mass to this day. Our little parish does not offer it so we usually drive to the closest Cathedral for the service. I feel childlike giddiness at the anticipation. It just is not Christmas until the choir leads us to sing:

"Angels we have heard on high,

Singing sweetly o'er the plains:

And the mountains in reply

Echoing their joyous strains

Gloooooooooooooooooria En Excelsis Deo!


Come to Bethlehem, and see

Him whose birth the angels sing;

Come adore on bended knee

Christ the Lord, the newborn King

Gloooooooooooooooooria En Excelsis Deo!


Shepards, why this jubilee?

Why your joyous strains prolong?

What gladsome tidings be

Which inspire your heav'nly song?

Gloooooooooooooooooria En Excelsis Deo!


See him in a manger laid

Whom the choirs of angels praise

Mary, Joseph, lend your aid

While our hearts in love we raise

Gloooooooooooooooooria En Excelsis Deo!


A beautiful song in its own right, artists around the world can be heard on radio and in concert singing the easily recognizable composition. Beautiful as they are, it lacks luster until it is sung at Christmas Mass.


Honestly, I love it so much I'd love for it to be sung at every Mass but I suspect people would tire of it. We are fickle that way.


I wish for everyone to feel this joy and wonder of Christ's arrival on this earth every day of the year. Sing this song every day if you wish. I think Christ would enjoy hearing it from our lips more than just on his birthday.

The photo is from St. Andrew Cathedral in Little Rock. The alter is dressed for Midnight Mass and the Christmas season.

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