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Christmas Text: Gloria Deo!

This is a text that I’ve come back to now and again for over a year. It’s still a “bachelor,” awaiting a joyful, sprightly, toe-tap-ping tune to sweep it of its feet and complete it. (It’s not good for texts to be alone.) However, I think it’s eligible and won’t be single forever. We shall see!

Now, if I were putting an ad in the singles section of the paper or posting info on a melody dating site, I’d say this:

“This text has an unmistakable cadence to it. It’s happy and energetic, like the word on which it is based: “GLO-ri-a!” I’ve always enjoyed the sound of that word. “GLO-ri-a!” It’s fun to say. Though we usually sing it as “Gloooooooooooooooo-ria,” it has a natural, lilting rhythm to it. It wants to leap off your tongue, if you’ll let it. Anyway, I used that rhythm for the entire hymn text. It’s a happy lad, awaiting for a happy lass with whom to waltz…er, walk…through life.

More seriously, the text is filled with good news of our Savior’s Person and Work, all taken from angelic announcements of Christ’s birth from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. I hope it will help you meditate with me on our Savior’s incarnation. Hopefully, you might even smile as you meditate. (It’s possible, I hear.)

Glory to God in the highest!

(Update: Verses 2 and 3 have been switched, per a recommendation from Larry Rogier. Thanks, Larry!)

Verse 1 (Luke 1:26-38)
Gloria Deo! The Savior is come;
Born to a virgin is God’s holy Son.
David’s Awaited will sit on his throne,
Ruling the nations—His praises make known.

“Gloria! Gloria!” Shout of His birth!
God the Creator descends to the earth!
Born in the squalor to cleanse us from sin;
Glory to God for the Savior of men!

Verse 2 (Luke 2:8-12)
Gloria Deo! The shepherds behold
Angels announce what the prophets foretold:
“Born is the Savior, the Master of all!
Swaddled Messiah lies hushed in a stall.”

Verse 3 (Matthew 2:20-21; Genesis 3:15)
Gloria Deo! Sin’s power is dead.
Jesus, though bruised, crushed the serpent’s foul head!
Seed of the woman, Redeemer of men,
Vanquishes Satan! We sing out again—

Verse 4 (Luke 2:8, 13-14)
Gloria Deo! The sinner may live!
Joyous the news heaven’s messengers give.
Peace to the wretched yet favored Christ brings.
“Glory to God!” let the church loudly sing!

(c) Copyright 2009 churchworksmedia.com. All rights reserved.


9 Responses

  1. I think the text needs a Joan Pinkston or John Rutter tune. Excellent!

  2. Well it’s already been rejected by Molly Ijames. She was looking for a text for some contest in Indianapolis, but opted against it. Sheesh.

  3. (Full disclosure: She and the other text won.) :)

    But thanks, Don. Praise the Lord.

  4. Chris, have you considered the LYONS tune (AKA “O Worship the King”)? As I read through the text, the tune almost jumped at me. But, perhaps, you are looking for an original tune, in which case … I got nuttin’.

  5. Actually, “Be Thou My Vision” fits this very nicely (sans refrain tho) if you are itchin’ to sing it this season…until your ad is answered by some SWLL (single, waltzing, lilting lass).

  6. Pastor Anderson,
    The words are so beautiful! I hope that you’ll find just the right tune…definitely wants to be joyous and merry!
    Merry Christmas!

  7. I think I have a simple little tune that might work. I’ll get back with you later today–on my way to choir practice.

  8. Great, Elizabeth. I’ll look forward to hearing it! Don’t spend a great deal of time on it, however. I’ve received several tunes thus far, and I’m not sure what we’ll end up using. We’ll see. I’m glad for the enthusiasm! :)

  9. What a lovely text. It seems like it was written to be set to music.

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