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Gloria Patri, also known as the Glory Be to the Father or, colloquially, the Glory Be, is a doxology, a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian liturgies. It is also referred to as the Minor Doxology (Doxologia Minor) or Lesser Doxology, to distinguish it from the Greater Doxology, the Gloria in Excelsis Deo.
The Greek wording is as follows:
The earliest forms of the first part of this Trinitarian doxology are addressed to the Father through (διά) the Son and in (ἐν) or with (μετά) the Holy Spirit, but in the fourth century the custom of using and (καί) became universal among Catholics in reaction to Arian use of the prepositions to suggest subordinationism. In Greek, the second part became that given above, which is used by the Eastern Orthodox Churches (and the Eastern Catholic Churches of Byzantine Rite) and by the Oriental Orthodox Churches.
According to Worship Music: A Concise Dictionary, the lesser doxology is of Syrian origin.
In Orthodoxy, Arabic is one of the official liturgical languages of the Church of Jerusalem and the Church of Antioch, both autocephalous Orthodox Churches and two of the four ancient Patriarchates of the Pentarchy.
The Arabic wording of this doxology is as follows:
In 529 the Second Synod of Vasio in Gaul (modern (Vaison) said in its fifth canon that the second part of the doxology, with the words Sicut erat in principio, was used in Rome, the East, and Africa, and ordered it to be said likewise in Gaul. Writing in the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia, Adrian Fortescue, while remarking that what the synod said of the East was false, took the synod's decree to mean that the form originally used in the West was the same as the Greek form. From about the seventh century the present Roman Rite version became almost universal throughout the West.
The similarity between this version used in the then extreme west of the church and the Syrian version used in the extreme east is noteworthy.
This doxology in the Anglican Churches is most commonly found in the following traditional form:
The translations of semper as ever shall be, and in saecula saeculorum as world without end date from Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer, and are most commonly found in Anglican usage, as well as the derivative usage of older Lutheran liturgical books.
In the contemporary usage of the Roman Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran churches, the following translation by the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) has been widely used since 1971:
This is the version found in the Roman Catholic Liturgy of the Hours used, for instance, in the United States, while the corresponding Divine Office used, for instance, in Australia, England and Wales, and Ireland has:
More recent Anglican usage has introduced a further variant (found in Common Worship):
Especially in Anglican circles there are various alternative forms of the Gloria designed to avoid masculine language. The form included in Celebrating Common Prayer is:
The doxology has a different translation in the use of the English-speaking Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, as following:
The Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States uses:
In the Eastern Orthodox Churches, the Oriental Orthodox Churches, the Assyrian Church of the East and the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Lesser Doxology is frequently used at diverse points in services and private prayers. Among other instances, it is said three times by the reader during the usual beginning of every service, and as part of the dismissal at the end. When it is used in a series of hymns it is chanted either before the last hymn or before the penultimate hymn. In the latter case, it is divided in half, the "Glory..." being chanted before the penultimate hymn, and "Both now..." being chanted before the final hymn (which is usually a Theotokion).
In the Roman Rite, the Gloria Patri is frequently chanted or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office (prayed by the clergy, many religious orders and congregations, and, more frequently since Vatican II, by laity as well), principally at the end of psalms and canticles and in the responsories. It also figures in the Introit of the pre-1970 form of Mass in the Roman Rite. The prayer figures prominently in non-liturgical devotions, notably the rosary, where "Glory be" is recited before the large beads (on which an "Our Father" is prayed) which separate the five sets of ten smaller beads, called decades, upon each of which a Hail Mary is prayed.
Lutherans have historically added the Gloria Patri both after the chanting of the Responsorial Psalm and following the Nunc Dimittis during their Divine Service, as well as during Matins and Vespers in the Canonical hours. The Gloria Patri is also frequently used in evangelical Presbyterian churches. In Methodism, the Gloria Patri (usually in the traditional English form above) is frequently sung to conclude the "responsive reading" that takes the place of the Office Psalmody.
Gloria Patri setting by Henry Wellington Greatorex
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