“Glory to God in the highest!” This is an exclamation! These words are being sung to the creator of the universe constantly in heaven! Think about that for a second, Choirs of the most beautiful voices singing praise to our God, to our creator of all things! He is being praised in heaven.
What is the next part of that prayer: “and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased!” That is a prayer for us! God sees us and is pleased with us, his children who he breathed life into.
There is more to this prayer which we will get into but we have to pause right now and see whats going on in the bible. Why were the angels in an acclimation? There are very few times that angels come up in the bible which also makes us want to pay attention to what is going on. This is the part in Luke where the Angel appears to the shepherds to tell them of the Lord’s birth!
Ok the Lord is just born. Heaven is touching earth! God is made flesh and the Angels are rejoicing on earth! The shepherds get to see a glimpse of what happens in heaven all of the time!
We get to see this as well! Every time we go to mass we witness this very thing. Heaven touches earth! God is made flesh! Right in front of us. We are participating in the praises of the angels which happen constantly. We get to witness our God come to earth! This is a great joy! If we try to understand this, more and more we will no longer pray this prayer in a monotonous way. This is why this part is sung at mass sometimes, because it is sung in heaven always.
We can also know that every time the consecration occurs, spiritually there is a host of angels singing and praising the presence of God and we get to sing along with them! This is mass, this is the “great joy which will come to all people” that the angel was talking about in Luke. What a great joy it is that the Lord comes to us at mass and we get to touch him and physically be one with our Savior. Take a second to think about that.
The next part is our response to God. How do we respond to this glorious happening? By a prayer of praise, “Lord God, heavenly King, almightily God and Father, we worship You, we give You thanks, we praise you for your glory”. We also give a prayer of petition, “Lord Jesus Christ, only son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, You take away the sin of the world: Have mercy on us; You are seated at the right hand of the father: receive our prayer”. We end with praise, “For you alone are the Holy One, You alone are the Lord, You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of the father.”
This part of the mass is a praise which we get to participate in with the angels. This is where we recognize what is about to happen, where we recognize and rejoice that our savior coming to us during the consecration of the Eucharist. Let us not simply say these words next time we are in mass but joyfully praise our Lord with the Angels who are present among us.
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