Adult Choral Festival 2010: O’ Gloria!
Two settings of Gloria exist in Christian liturgy, the “Gloria in excelsis Deo” and the “Gloria Patri.” The earliest setting of the “Gloria in Excelsis,” Luke 2:14, originated in ancient Greece and was later adapted for use in the early Roman Catholic Mass. In mass worship, this text is used as the second movement, and is often sung before the gospel is read.
“Gloria in excelsis deo et in terra pax,” contains two supporting tenets of Anabaptist/Protestant development of faith – glory to our Creator and peace to all mankind. So what does this mean for Protestants of the Mennonite faith? It provides them with many opportunities to correlate music history’s original “great doxology,” with our transformed doxology “Praise God from whom all Blessing Flow,” in worship. Most importantly, for stewards of the Mennonite faith, it enhances the message of praising God and maintaining peace in a distraught and confused world.
After the reformation, during the sixteenth century, church music morphed into German hymn-like movements of which the Gloria was included. From the German style of singing (unison with organ accompaniment), exploring Europeans adapted these hymns into 4-part a cappella settings in which the current Mennonite doxology exists. This workshop’s task will be to show correlation of the mass “Gloria,” its development through music history, and its transition into the current doxology. Understanding this will enlighten one in new ways to use settings of the “Gloria” in worship.