Why do we sing the Gloria in Excelsis?

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Why do we sing the Gloria in Excelsis in our worship services on Sunday mornings?

We sing this ancient song to give glory to God for His goodness and mercy toward us in Christ Jesus. Christians sang this song already in the second and third centuries, and we join with these believers and believers of all time in praising the true God.

As the angels sang “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” after telling the shepherds the good news that Christ Jesus, the Savior, had been born (Luke 2:14), so we sing with the angels: “Glory be to God on high: and on earth peace, good will toward men.”

We continue our song of prayer and praise (with the angels of God and believers of all time) by giving glory to the one and only true God (the Triune God): to the almighty Father and our heavenly King; to Jesus Christ, who is God the Son and our Savior who came into this world as a man to be sacrificed on the cross for us and to take away the sins of all people; and to the Holy Spirit, who is true God with the Father and the Son. We sing the words of John the Baptist concerning Jesus from John 1:29: “Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”

We glorify God, saying: “We praise Thee, we bless Thee, we worship Thee, we glorify Thee, we give thanks to Thee, for Thy great glory. O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord, the only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ; O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, that takest away the sin of the world, have mercy upon us. Thou that takest away the sin of the world, receive our prayer. Thou that sittest at the right hand of God the Father, have mercy upon us. For thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord. Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father. Amen.”

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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