Glory to God in the highest
This prayer is an ancient hymn of praise to the Trinity during the introductory rites of the Mass. It follows the Penitential Rite. The first part of the hymn was sung by the "armies of heaven" at the birth of the Savior, praising God (Luke 2:13-24.) It is our prayer to God the Father, reminding Him that the Church gathered for the Eucharstic celebration, is the incarnate Body of His Son. Next follows the part that praises God by recalling all of His attributes. The third is a prayer to the Christ where we ask HIm to save us from our sins.
The Gloria is omitted during Advent and Lent. Adcent is a time of awaiting the Savior. During this Liturgical Season, we listen to the announcements of Jesus coming, which the Prophets foretold regarding the Savior. The Season of Lent focuses on the saving works of Christ. It allows us to understand what God has sdone for us throught the suffering and death of His Son.
In this hymn, we give praise to God by recalling how great He is and how worthy of our praise, worship and devotion. St. Paul in his letter to the Christian Community at Corinth writes: "So, whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" (1 Corinthians 10:31)." In the Glory to God in the highest we give thanks to God, who is always present. We are invited to praise God at all times because the "glory of God",is always before us. As we raise ourminds and hearts to God in this hymn of praise, we should recognize God's Presence in our midst. We should be aware of our need for God, trusting that He never abandons us in our need. We should open our hearts and mind to Him and ask Him to make us aware of His Presence in our lives at every moment.