Standing at the middle of the altar, the priest forms a circle when he extends, elevates and then joins his hands to intone the Gloria. With this gesture we are reminded of God without beginning, without end, the Alpha and the Omega.
From The Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962: “Freed from preoccupation with his sinfulness and confident that God will heal his wretchedness, the Priest intones this cry of joy before the greatness of God’s absolute existence: ‘I am Who Am.’ “
Itseems probable that our Blessed Mother, who ”kept all these words, pondering them in her heart”, must have at sometime during His Passion, wistfully recalled the joyful birth of her little Infant Son whom she had held ever so tenderly in her arms.
We may pray: “O Bread which came down from Heaven! My treasure, my happiness! I desire to serve Thee with a good will and purity of intention. Grant to me, for the love Thou bearest Thy Holy Mother, the grace of a pure and tranquil conscience, so that in this life I may pass my days in holiness and innocence; ever grateful for Thy gift of peace to those who would love Thee. What else can he who lives by Thee want any more on earth?”
In the N.O. this prayer is called a hymn of praise. But this is an inadequate description, because the Gloria is much more than that. In the Gloria, the four ends of the Sacrifice of the Mass are to be found: Adoration, Thanksgiving, Atonement, Petition.