Sunday, January 20, 2008

sic transit 'Gloria'

There was no Gloria at Mass today at St. Al's.

At some point in the distant past, the parish purchased Gather hymnals in hardcover. Still in the pews, these say "The Gloria is omitted during Advent and Lent." (No. 68). The parish also purchases the paperback Breaking Bread annual hymnal. The 2008 edition says (p. 6) "On Sundays outside Advent and Lent and on solemnities and feasts, all sing or say:" the Gloria. The text I use for my Christian Formation class reviews the order of the Mass, and after the penitential rite, says "The ancient song of praise, the Gloria comes next." (Send Out Your Spirit: A Confirmation Candidate's Handbook for Faith 2003 by Michael Amodio, p. 173.)

It's not Advent or Lent, so why no Gloria? The issue came up at our then-new pastor's town hall meeting on liturgy last year. He explained that the Gloria is omitted during Ordinary Time to emphasize how ordinary it is. Even I, an untrained catechist, know that's not what "ordinary" means in the context of Ordinary Time. And it's a different answer than a prior pastor, a seminary classmate of our current pastor, gave to the same question.

In the absence of a real answer from the parish, I looked elsewhere. According to this article, at least, skipping the Gloria is among "Innovations [which] were said to make Mass 'meaningful' for young children." I've seen most of the listed innovations at parish Masses, so that might be the parish liturgical model.


  1. skipping the Gloria is among "Innovations [which] were said to make Mass 'meaningful' for young children."
    Oi! Mayhap the liturgical reformers should have consulted fathers and mothers of small children on this sort of thing. The Gloria is one of the first things my children have understood.

  2. I have not looked it up for this particular situation, but there is a lot of "official"/Vatican approved leeway for Masses "with children." And of course since almost any Mass is a Mass "with children," it gives great leeway at almost any Mass.

  3. Anonymous10:25 PM

    Didn't bursted pipes/flooding etc. just do some serious damage to the choirs' storage area? Am I being too mean to point out this coincidence?

  4. F.C., seems a tad one-sided if the meanings of words are equivocal unless they're on a pledge card.

    Anonymous, if it rains on the just and the unjust, you can't make judgments based on roof leaks. Okay, maybe if it had happened while they were rehearsing "Rain Down".

  5. Anonymous2:26 PM

    Call the diocese and speak with the Prayer and Worship Office. I've done that. Someone there will call the pastor. No use 'belly-aching' about it. Take some initiative!