GLORIA IN EXCELSIS, opening words of the Latin version of the angelic announcement of the birth of Christ, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among men with whom he is pleased" (Lk. 2:14).
Known also as the greater doxology, it was incorporated into the eucharistic service since the early days of the church, as attested by the Divine Liturgy of James the Holy Apostle and Brother of the Lord and by Saint ATHANASIUS (326-373) as part of prayers to be said at dawn. Extensive use is made of the angelic doxology in Coptic worship: in the Divine Liturgy, where, in the prayer of reconciliation, the celebrant addresses God, "Thou hast filled the earth with peace from heaven, for which the hosts of angels glorify Thee, saying; "Glory to God in the highest, etc.'"
In the office of morning incense, the Gloria is said before the celebration of the Liturgy and following the intercession for the sick and for the travelers. On Saturdays, this doxology follows after the intercession for the departed, which replaces the other two intercessions.
In the canonical hours, it appears as part of the morning prayer: "Let us sing with the angels saying: "Glory be to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will to men.'"
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