Why The Gloria Isn’t Said at Every Mass

Many Catholics have noticed that the Gloria is not recited at Masses during Advent or Lent. Father Mark Ott, our weekend associate, said since the Gloria is a hymn of joyful amazement at God’s mercy, it is not recited during Lent, when the church takes an extended amount of time to understand and appreciate the strength of the force of sin in people’s lives.

“We focus on our sinfulness and need for repentance during this season,” he explained. “When Easter arrives, the Gloria is taken up again with renewed enthusiasm. If you have ever been to the Easter Vigil, you can really see this emphasis. It is during the Gloria that the church building is flooded with light and the joyful music resumes for the first time since before Ash Wednesday.”

He added that Advent is more of a time of quiet preparation for the upcoming Christmas season, so Catholics tend to focus on preparing their own hearts and homes to receive the gift of Jesus. They focus in their prayer on the life of Mary and Joseph from the Annunciation until the Nativity. Father Mark reasons that the Gloria isn’t sung at this time because, “according to the narrative of Mary and Joseph at this time, the Gloria had not yet been sung.” Parishioners sing the Gloria with renewed vigor at the celebration of Christmas, when the shepherds first heard it proclaimed.

Written by Scott Kriska