The "Gloria in Excelsis"
Except during penitential or 'sorrowful' times of the Church's year, the Priest begins the solemn hymn to the Blessed Trinity: " Gloria in Excelsis " ("Glory to God in the highest"). The first words of this hymn are those that the Angels sang to the shepherds on Christmas night. The remainder of the prayer is a development of the Angelic Salutation, calling to mind God's greatness in heaven and our source of confidence in Him on earth.
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