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Gloria Patri

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Title: Gloria Patri  
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Collection: Catholic Liturgy, Christian Prayer, Eastern Christian Liturgy, Lutheran Liturgy and Worship, Rosary
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Gloria Patri

A Latin chant setting of the Gloria Patri from the Liber Usualis, with two euouae alternatives.

Gloria Patri, also known as the Glory Be to the Father or, colloquially, the Glory Be, is a doxology, a short hymn of praise to God in various Christian liturgies. It is also referred to as the Minor Doxology (Doxologia Minor) or Lesser Doxology, to distinguish it from the Greater Doxology, the Gloria in Excelsis Deo.

The earliest Christian doxologies are addressed to God the Father alone, or to Him "through" (διὰ) the Son,[1] or to the Father and the Holy Spirit with( (μετά) the Son,[2] or to the Son with (σύν) the Father and the Holy Spirit.[3]

The Trinitarian doxology addressed in parallel fashion to all three persons of the Trinity, joined by and (καί), as in the form of baptism, Matthew 28:19, became universal in Nicaean Christianity, which became dominant with the Edict of Thessalonica of 380.[4]


  • Greek version 1
  • Syriac version 2
  • Arabic 3
  • Roman Rite Latin version 4
  • Mozarabic Rite Latin version 5
  • English versions 6
  • Use 7
  • Media 8
  • See also 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Greek version

The Greek wording is as follows:

Δόξα Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ καὶ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι,
καὶ νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
Both now and always, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

The second part is occasionally slightly modified and other verses are sometimes introduced between the two halves.[4]

Syriac version

East Syriac (used by the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church)
Shouha tababa, W-brona, W-ruha dqudsha,
min’alam w’adamma L-’alam, Amen.[5]
Malabar East Syriac (used by the Syro Malabar Church)
Shuw’ha L’Awa U’lawra wal’Ruha D’Qudsha
Min Alam wadamma L’alam, Amen Wamen.
West Syriac (used by the Syriac Catholic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church)
Shubho Labo wu Labro wu l'rooHo qadisho
Min 'Olam w'adam l'Olam, Olmeen, Amin.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
from everlasting and for ever and ever (literal translation)[6]

According to Worship Music: A Concise Dictionary, the lesser doxology is of Syrian origin.[7]

There is an alternate version which the Syriac Catholic Church and the Syriac Orthodox Church use in their Liturgies

Shubho Labo wu Labro wu l'rooHo qadisho
wu 'Alain mHeli wu HaTowe raHme wa Hnono nishtef'aoon batrahoon 'Olmee l'Olam 'Olmeen Amin.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
And upon us, weak and sinful ones, let mercy and compassion be showered in both worlds, forever and ever. Amen.[8]


In Orthodoxy, Arabic is one of the official liturgical languages of the Church of Jerusalem[9] and the Church of Antioch,[10] both autocephalous Orthodox Churches and two of the four ancient Patriarchates of the Pentarchy.[11][12]

The Arabic wording of this doxology is as follows:

المجد للآب و الابن و الروح القدس
.الان و كل أوان و الى دهر الداهرين، أمين[13]

Roman Rite Latin version

Pronunciation of the Glory Be to the Father (Gloria patri) in church Latin with a strong American English accent.
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, and now, and always, and into the ages of ages. Amen.

This differs from the Greek version because of the insertion of ""Sicut erat in principio", which is now taken to mean "As it (glory) was in the beginning", but which seems originally to have meant "As he (the Son) was in the beginning", and echo of the opening words of the Gospel according to John: "In the beginning was the Word".[4]

In 529 the Second Synod of Vasio in Gaul (modern (Vaison) said in its fifth canon that the second part of the doxology, with the words Sicut erat in principio, was used in Rome, the East, and Africa, and ordered it to be said likewise in Gaul.[4] Writing in the 1909 Catholic Encyclopedia, Adrian Fortescue, while remarking that what the synod said of the East was false, took the synod's decree to mean that the form originally used in the West was the same as the Greek form.[4] From about the 7th century the present Roman Rite version became almost universal throughout the West.[4]

Mozarabic Rite Latin version

Gloria et honor Patri et Filio et Spiritui sancto
in saecula saeculorum.[4]
Glory and honour to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit
for ages of ages.

The similarity between this version used in the then extreme west of the church and the Syrian version used in the extreme east is noteworthy.

English versions

The following traditional form is the most common in Anglican usage and in older Lutheran liturgical books:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son:
and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be:
world without end. Amen.

The translations of semper as ever shall be, and in saecula saeculorum as world without end date at least from Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer

The Catholic Church uses the same English form, but today replaces "Holy Ghost" with "Holy Spirit",[14][15][16] as in The Divine Office[17] the edition of the Liturgy of the Hours used in most English-speaking countries outside the United States.

In 1971, the International Consultation on English Texts (ICET) used since 1971:

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

This was adopted in the publication, Liturgy of the Hours (Catholic Book Publishing Company), but has not come into popular use by lay Catholics. It is found also in some Anglican and Lutheran publications.

A variant found in Common Worship has "shall" instead of "will":

Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

Especially in Anglican circles, there are various alternative forms of the Gloria designed to avoid masculine language. The form included in Celebrating Common Prayer is:

Glory to God, Source of all being,
Eternal Word and Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.

The doxology in the use of the English-speaking Orthodox and Greek-Catholic Churches, follows the Greek form, of which one English translation is:

Glory to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

The translation of the Greek form used by the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the United States is:

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
now and always and forever and ever. Amen.[18]


In the Eastern Orthodox Church, Oriental Orthodoxy, the Church of the East, and the Eastern Catholic Churches, the Lesser Doxology is frequently used at diverse points in services and private prayers. Among other instances, it is said three times by the reader during the usual beginning of every service, and as part of the dismissal at the end. When it is used in a series of hymns it is chanted either before the last hymn or before the penultimate hymn. In the latter case, it is divided in half, the "Glory..." being chanted before the penultimate hymn, and "Both now..." being chanted before the final hymn (which is usually a Theotokion).

In the Roman Rite, the Gloria Patri is frequently chanted or recited in the Liturgy of the Hours or Divine Office (prayed by the clergy, many religious orders and congregations, and, more frequently since Vatican II, by laity as well), principally at the end of psalms and canticles and in the responsories. It also figures in the Introit of the pre-1970 form of Mass in the Roman Rite. The prayer figures prominently in non-liturgical devotions, notably the rosary, where "Glory be" is recited before the large beads (on which an "Our Father" is prayed) which separate the five sets of ten smaller beads, called decades, upon each of which a Hail Mary is prayed.

Amongst Anglicans, the Gloria Patri is mainly used at the Daily Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer, to introduce and conclude the singing or recitation of psalms, and to conclude the canticles that lack their own concluding doxologies.

Lutherans have historically added the Gloria Patri both after the chanting of the Responsorial Psalm and following the Nunc Dimittis during their Divine Service, as well as during Matins and Vespers in the Canonical hours. The Gloria Patri is also frequently used in evangelical Presbyterian churches. In Methodism, the Gloria Patri (usually in the traditional English form above) is frequently sung to conclude the "responsive reading" that takes the place of the Office Psalmody.


Gloria Patri setting by Henry Wellington Greatorex

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See also


  1. ^ (Romans 16:27; Jude 25; Letter of Clement to the Corinthians, 4; Martyrdom of Polycarp, 20; etc.)
  2. ^ Martyrdom of Polycarp, 14
  3. ^ Martyrdom of Polycarp, 22
  4. ^ a b c d e f g (New York 1909)Catholic EncyclopediaAdrian Fortescue, "Doxology" in
  5. ^ Chaldean Neo-Aramaic
  6. ^ The Hallowing of Addai and Mari
  7. ^ (Liturgical Press 2000 ISBN 0-8146-5889-X), p. 126Worship Music: A Concise DictionaryEdward Foley, Mark Paul Bangert,
  8. ^
  9. ^ Ronald G. Roberson, C.S.P. (28 May 2009). "The Patriarchate of Jerusalem". Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Ronald G. Roberson, C.S.P. (3 Jan 2013). "The Patriarchate of Antioch". Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  11. ^ Ronald G. Roberson, C.S.P. (2 Jan 2007). "The Autocephalous Churches". Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Elias D. Mallon, S.A., Ph.D. (11 January 2013). "Pentarchy". Catholic Near East Welfare Association (CNEWA). Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  13. ^ Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem
  14. ^ EWTN: "The Glory Be"
  15. ^ Catholic Online
  16. ^ CatholiCity: "Common Catholic Prayers"
  17. ^ Collins (London, Glasgow), Dwyer (Sydney), Talbot (Dublin)
  18. ^

External links

  • "Doxology" at New Advent
  • Glory Be
  • and other prayers of the Rosary in many languagesGlory BeThe
  • Glory BeA website with the Lord's Prayer in multiple languages; some of the languages also have the
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