Have you ever gone to visit a friend or relative and brought flowers as a gift? It is a wonderful way to warm the reception and bring joy to the gathering. Similarly, the Psalmist encourages us to enter God’s presence with praise.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name. Psalm 100:4
When we come to mass, we enter God’s presence and bring him a spiritual bouquet of praise by singing the ancient hymn of the Gloria.
Singing has always been an important part of worship. Moses sang a hymn of praise after crossing the Red Sea. The judge, Deborah, sang a song of victory when Israel defeated the Canaanites. Music was integral to David’s life of worship as he left us much of the book of Psalms. Jesus and the apostles sang a hymn as they walked from the upper room to the Mount of Olives on Holy Thursday. If you want to become more aware of God’s presence in your life – sing.
Singing also has excellent health benefits. According to Prevention magazine, singing:
- Reduces stress
- Strengthens your immune system
- Increases concentration
- Strengthens your heart
- Assists bonding with your community
When the angels announced the birth of the Son of God, they sang a song, “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace to people of good will.” When we come to God in the mass, we repeat this refrain as a gift of our hearts to Him. As a bouquet has many flowers, the Gloria gives multi-faceted praise. Our praise blooms in splendor when we sing, “We praise you, we bless you, we adore you, we glorify you, we give you thanks for your great glory.”
We acknowledge the great work of salvation accomplished by Jesus, our Lord. “You take away the sins of the world, have mercy on us; you take away the sins of the world, receive our prayer; you are seated at the right hand of the Father, have mercy on us.”
Then, we finish off our bouquet with the proclamation of the Trinity. “Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.”
Each Sunday as we gather, we rejoice that Jesus has opened the gates of heaven and invited us in for a dinner party. Like good guests we bring a bouquet to honor our host and to give him thanks. So, we sing with all our hearts using the voice God has given us, and become ever more aware that we are in the presence of the Almighty King.
Yours in Christ,