Wednesday, March 23, 2011


After the Kyrie, the next piece of music in the liturgy is the Gloria.  Some hard core liturgists out there might be shocked to learn that we are even singing the Gloria during Lent.  During this pentitential season, it's usually omitted from the worship rubric because of its celebratory nature.

Personally, I think the flexibility of the worship service to aid our faith is more important than any such "rules" laid down over the years.  There comes a point when we have to ask if a rule is being upheld simply to honor tradition or to enhance the worship experience.  I recognize that the problem inherent in such a standard is that people can disagree over it, but I hope that people will understand the edifying purpose of the deviation as we journey through the liturgy.

The text of the Gloria is not drawn explicitly from the Gospel of Luke, but clearly it is based on the message of the angels in the Christmas story.  It echoes the call for peace in the Kyrie in its opening lines, and it follows a tripartite structure that foreshadows the Credo to come.  In other words, the Gloria marks a turning point in the service; in the simplified liturgical order it is the point where we move from Gather to Word, with the lessons immediately following.

At worship tonight, we'll sing the Gloria as a congregation and David will sing a solo based on several classical sources that he has arranged especially for tonight.  Also, I'd like to mention breifly my Wednesday night preludes during Lent. I've been playing slow movements from Haydn's piano sonatas and will do so for the remainder of the season.  I often do a Lenten series of some sort.  (You might recall that last year I played various selections from Bach's Well Tempered Clavier.)  It creates a sense of continuity and sets aside the season as different from the regular church year, and to be perfectly honest it also helps my planning by quickly filling six slots in a busy season!

1 comment:

  1. Wish I was there! That is a very beautiful picture which speaks a thousand words.