Gloria Patri

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The Gloria Patri is an ancient Christian song or prayer, otherwise known as “Glory to the Father.” It is uniquely powerful to be reminded that the Church is a global faith community, spanning over two millennia. Historical lyrics set to modern melodies, like Gloria Patri, offer a fresh take on words that Christians have prayed and sung far before our lifetime, connecting us to the history of our faith. 

It is important to recognize how intentionally Trinitarian this song is in its expression, addressing Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This fact alone should help our hearts rejoice in worship, which brings to mind a helpful question: When was the last time you pondered the wonders of the Triune God? When did you last find yourself taken aback by the mystery of one God in three Persons? Have you paused long enough to stand in awe of this Trinity?  Gloria Patri helps us step into that kind of worship.  

I’ve heard it said that “wonder” is to “ponder with the heart.” If that is true, then we ought to ponder with our hearts often. If it’s been a while, you might consider carving out substantial time to cultivate wonder in your heart. Get out in nature and take in the beauty God created;  or spend some time journaling all of the small ways you notice God at work in your life; or simply read passages of Scripture, like Isaiah 6 or Revelation 5, that inspire the wonders of God in worship.  

The lyrics of “Gloria Patri” not only communicate wonder, they also invite us into the story of God from beginning to end. The bookends of Scripture are often the least sung portions of God’s story. Yet, in this song, God’s handiwork is on display from the garden of Eden to the new garden city of Revelation 21. Phrases like “... as it was in the beginning, as it is right now, and will be forever” are immensely helpful in expanding our minds to consider the whole story of the Gospel.  

Verse 3 of “Gloria Patri” is especially helpful in this. Meditate on these lyrics for a moment… 

“When we behold the radiant Son, the shadowlands will fade away. At last the One who is to come will rule the new creation. He’ll rule the new creation…”

Again, this is such a wonderful reminder that our salvation isn’t simply a “get out of jail free card” that grants forgiveness for all of our mistakes. It’s also a glorious inheritance and a new world for God’s people! And that new world will be an everlasting one that is ruled by the King who reigns with justice and mercy: King Jesus.  

Take some time right now to consider what it means to be in relationship with the God who will right every wrong, renew every broken thing, and reign forever in the new creation. In your own words, pray a prayer of adoration to the Lord in response to these great truths.