Gloria on Weekdays
  • GIRM - Concerning the Gloria:

    "It is sung or said on Sundays outside the Seasons of Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and at special celebrations of a more solemn character."

    Are there any restrictions or rules of thumb to assist in determining what the definition of "a more solemn character" is and whether it would apply to masses said outside the Seasons of Advent and Lent with a special group that only comes together for Mass one day a week?
  • matthewjmatthewj
    Posts: 2,673
    I would guess this means for big events such as dedications, ordinations, consecrations, etc.

    I don't think that a "special group"'s "special weekly Mass" is a good reason to sing a Gloria.
  • Mark M.Mark M.
    Posts: 632
    We did a Gloria at my wedding eight years ago. I didn't know anything about the GIRM then, and the priest didn't exercise any particular oversight on the Mass.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,612
    The pastor gave me a copy of the Ordo that applies to the dioceses of the southeastern U.S. When a Gloria is specified, we sing it. When it is not, we don't. "The Order of Prayer in the Liturgy of the Hours and Celebration of the Eucharist 2010" rules, and there are no exceptions.
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    Charles, Do you know the reasoning behind not singing the Gloria on weekdays? I'm not questioning that at all- I'm just wondering if you or anyone else knows, so don't have to research it myself, b/c I'm lazy. LOl The first thing that occurs to me is b/c it makes Sunday Masses 'higher' than weekday? Or makes them more important ? Not the right way to express it, but you get my meaning, I hope. We don't sing the Gloria on Thanksgiving Day, for instance, b/c not in the book, but why?
    Donna
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 11,612
    No one has ever given me an official reason, either. I suspect that it may be to note the significance of Sunday. Perhaps the Western tradition of low-masses could be a factor. No equivalent for daily masses and "low masses" exists in most of the Christian east. I don't believe the early Western church had them, either. Perhaps it's a hold-over from earlier times to not sing the Gloria outside of major feasts and Sundays. Again, I don't really know but am just guessing. Where are our forum liturgical hair-splitters when you need them? LOL. There probably is a reason somewhere.
  • You could just arrange for your group to meet only on feast days when the Gloria is allowed. That's the only way I can see it.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,536
    All Sundays rank at least as feasts of the Lord in the table of precedence. The Gloria was very gradually added to the Roman liturgy, and is part of progressive solemnity.

    One festal celebration that is of solemn character is the liturgy of ordination. While the ordination of a bishop explicitly includes a Te Deum, the Book of Rites doesn't specify the Gloria for ordinations; I wonder if it is typically included as a matter of course nowadays. In former times, ordinations where often done on Ember Saturdays, which were days of penitential observance.
  • My recollection of liturgical history is like Liam's. The Gloria originated as a special hymn for Christmas, as the initial text might suggest. Early on, it was limited to Masses offered by bishops, then gradually expanded to use by priests and on more feasts and Sundays. So, it's not so much that it's omitted on weekdays, Lent, or Advent, but that it wasn't added.

    I believe the use of the Gloria for saints day's and some other days was scaled back in the post-Vatican II reform. For instance, my 1948 Graduale specifies the Gloria all through the octave of Epiphany, but the post 1970 Missal drops it.
  • Please read my original posting, it cites the GIRM.

    Possibly, I should be asking opinion as to what the ORDO lists as "solemnities and feasts". This would seem to indicate that at the Mass on the feast of the patron saint that the Gloria might be sing.

    I would say that a weddings outside of Lent would be "special celebrations of a more solemn character."
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,536
    Solemnities and feasts are defined in the table of precedence for the universal calendar.

    I would not feel confident that weddings qualify for the special celebrations of a more solemn character, which I suspect was intended to refer to events of the diocese, nation or universal church (or at the very least, of the entire parish).
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    But weddings really ought to be events of the entire parish, shouldn't they? That's the way weddings are in my home parish: EVERYONE shows up.
  • chonakchonak
    Posts: 8,865
    Well, come on, Jam, you know by now you can't compare your experience in your wonderful Orthodox parish with many Catholic parishes.

    My town's parish has 2600 people attending Sunday Mass, at five services. If a parish staff member gets married, that's a "parish event", but that's about it.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    Nevertheless, even if not everyone is able to attend (due to number problems--literally not being able to all fit in the building, many people not knowing the couple in question, etc.), I think what I'm saying is that liturgically weddings should be treated as if they are parish-wide events. Not some kind of little private affair akin to going to a justice of the peace. Even if only a few people are there, those few people are representatives of the whole parish blessing and supporting the marriage, no?
  • paul
    Posts: 60
    the weekday mass that I always feel a little conflicted about gloria-wise is Thanksgiving. We only have one mass on that day, and it's at different time than regular daily mass and it just seems like it would qualify to have the Gloria sung, but when I offer it to the priests, they always say no thanks.
  • "The Gloria in Excelsis Deo is a very ancient and venerable hymn in which the Church, gathered together in the Holy Spirit, glorifies and entreats God the Father and the Lamb. ... It is sung or said on Sundays outside the Seasons of Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and at special celebrations of a more solemn character" (GIRM 53). In accordance with that rule, the Gloria is omitted at funerals. It is also omitted for ordinary feast-days of saints, weekdays, and Votive Masses. It is also optional, in line with the perceived degree of solemnity of the occasion, at Ritual Masses such as those celebrated for Marriage ("Nuptial Mass"), Confirmation or Religious Profession, at Masses on the Anniversary of Marriage or Religious Profession, </> and at Masses for Various Needs and Occasions.

    This is from Wikipedia...unable to track down its exact source.
    Thanked by 1E_A_Fulhorst
  • Thanksgiving, as far as I know, is not a feast on the Roman calendar. Abraham Lincoln doesn't get to add holy days.

    Jam: yours is the current trendy thinking amongst liturgists (i.e., Baptisms and Weddings should be part of Sunday Mass so that all the parish can be involved). Some traditions, however, just make practical sense. RC congregations, by and large don't want these events at Sunday Mass. Mostly because it tends to extend the service, but also because they innately see the focus shifted from the Eucharist to someone's new baby. Congregations may have lousy taste in music, but they tend see some things pretty clearly, like not wanting to sing the big ol' unity song during Communion.
  • JamJam
    Posts: 636
    I think those congregations are wrong, then. Baptisms and marriages ought to happen in the community of the entire faithful. Do confirmation Masses or the baptisms at Easter Vigil shift the focus away from communion and onto the confirmations/baptisms? Do wedding Masses shift the focus from the Eucharist to the wedding? I'm not saying these things have to happen on Sunday Masses (usually we do weddings on Sunday but after Liturgy, and baptisms at feast day liturgies) but I am saying that baptisms and weddings concern the entire congregation whether they are there to see it or not.

    I'm not into it because it is the "current trendy thinking." I think these things because they are the long-standing earliest traditions of the church.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,536
    The Wikipedia passage is, in a word, spurious. It can be ignored.

    I offer a compromise: where the bridal party (1) invites the entire parish via an announcement or bulletin to the wedding liturgy, (2) allows sufficient seating to be made available for a reasonable proportion of the usual parish attendees at Mass to attend, and (3) invites the entire parish to a reception (perhaps in the Church hall or grounds - I've seen this done), then its parochial character can be seen even more clearly....
  • I disagree about it being spurious...I find it hard to believe that someone would, because they wanted to have the Gloria sung at their wedding, add this to the GIRM note in the WIKI.

    If you can prove that it is spurious, do so, otherwise it stands.

    Better yet, go in the WIKI and remove it and let's see who pops out of the woodwork and explains where it came from.

    And, I also just finished reading the back info about the article and came across this:

    "Lima, It's all well and good that you can quote at length stating when the Gloria is used. However, I think it bears some mention that it is purposely omitted from funerals and only suggested to be (though, in practice it is almost always) used at weddings. I have no intention of getting in an edit war with you -- that solves nothing -- so I'd like to hear what other users think of the debate. To me, it is a glaring omission not to mention these quirks of the Church. These are, in fact, considered masses, so to completely ignore this fact on a page regarding the Mass is kinda stupid, imho. Anyone else have any thoughts? In the meantime, I'm reverting away your verbatim and superfluous quotes from GIRM. MusicMaker5376 05:40, 19 March 2006 (UTC)"


    Of course, this added sentence may also be the product of a zealous organist who is angered about the singing of the Gloria at weddings and placed this to bring the issue out in the public by people arguing about it!
  • "Lima" has left the building but MusicMaker5376 who smoked a lot of pot and drank a lot rather than excelling at college is still active at the WIKI.

    The things people write about themselves.

    No one, until now, has thought anything of the debate.

    And, of course, it is spurious, you are absolutely right. The product of someone wanting to state what actually goes on.
  • Liam
    Posts: 4,536
    The passage in question comes entirely from Wikipedia, not a Catholic liturgical source; it's found neither in the GIRM, the Missal nor the Book of Rites, the relevant sources of liturgical legislation for the Nuptial Mass. Wikipedia on its own is an authorative source for very little.

    It appears that the passage in question was lifted without attribution from a blogger's mere commentary, which has no authority whatsoever:

    http://mtsaintcaffiena.blogspot.com/2007/04/mass-part-2-what-goes-on-during-mass.html


    As I said, it's spurious....
  • Donnaswan
    Posts: 585
    At my workplace, we do not do the Gloria at weddings. Nor at T'giving
    Donna
  • orourkebr
    Posts: 57
    So, here's a specific question. I'm doing the music for a wedding on June 12. It is the memorial of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The bride and groom want the gloria; is this permitted?