The Gloria during Advent

Why is the Gloria omitted from Mass during Advent? I can’t remember this happening in previous years. Btw the parish priest is a good priest and orthodox, just in case that was an issue.

Advent is a season of expectation, so it has a minor penitential feeling. Although it is no longer considered a penitential season, it was in the earliest days of this season. Since it is a season of expectation, alleluia is permitted to be said, unlike during Lent.

I don’’ think that it’s penitential character ever ceased. Remember that in the Gospel we heard this past Sunday, John the Baptist’s message was one of repentence and conversion. Through repentence and conversion, we are better able to prepare our hearts for the savior’s arrival. The penitential aspect of Advent is of a different nature than that of Lent because it is marked with joyful anticipation; however, like Lent, the color remains purple (and Rose for one Sunday).

Sorry if Im a bit slow…why does this mean the Gloria is omitted. Isnt it the least “penitential” prayer of the penitential rite?

The Gloria is not a penitential prayer. It is the Church’s song of praise to God, taking its opening statement “Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth” from the words the angels sang when Christ was born. It is part of the introductory rites, but it is not part of the penitential rite. The penitential rite has three options and begs God for His mercy. The Gloria is altogether separate.

So why is it omitted during Advent?

It is omitted because Advent is a penitential season of the Church, just like Lent. Even though the Church sings Alleluia during Advent, She gives us this penitential season to call us to the same conversion that St. John the Baptist called the Jews as they awaited the arrival of the Messiah. Because the Gloria is a prayer of joy, it is suppressed during Advent and is not heard until the vigil Mass of Christmas Eve.

Lent is a penitential season that the Church gives us. It is more pronounced because we enter into 40 days of penance, mirroring the 40 days of Jesus’ journey through the desert and Ancient Israel’s 40 years of wandering through the desert. Not only is the Gloria omitted during Lent, but the Alleluia, as well. In fact, the Church offers four different options to the Gospel Acclamation.

I hope this helps.

The Gloria is one of those hymns/prayers which is omitted more often than it is used.

My ORDO says "It is sung or said only on Sundays outside or Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts, and in special local celebrations. On all other days it’s omitted.

I have no basis for what I’m going to say except that just yesterday I heard Archbishop Raymond Burke (of St. Louis), who is one of the “highest” canon lawyers and 100% orthodox, say on the Catholic radio that Advent is not a penitential season.

I’m not mistaking this, because I was wondering about it so I listened very closely. Someone asked about purple, and he said its considered solemn, and a “darkness” (waiting for the light), but advent is not a penitential season like Lent.

It was not Catholic Answers, it was a local program. WRYT-KHOJ. I believe it was “Ask the archbishop”.

okay, these answers make sense to me :slight_smile: thanks

We were taught in grade school (I went to Catholic School up through 8th grade) that Advent was indeed a penitential season. That was also indicated in some of the more Traditional (pre-Vatican II) teachings. I’m curious as to how the good Archbishop would have regarded St. John the Baptist’s meassasge of repentence (prior to the Messiah’s arrival).

From the Sacramentary:


This hymn is said or sung on Sundays outside Advent and Lent, on solemnities and feasts,
and in solemn local celebrations.

Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Afterward the priest, with hands joined, sings or says:
Let us pray.

Priest and people pray silently for a while.
Then the priest extends his hands and sings or says the opening prayer, at the end of which the people respond: Amen.

Sounds like the issue revolves around what is commonly meant by “penitential season”. Does that even have an exact meaning?

I was just thinking that…

this may be a semantics issue. I’m sorry B-gal, but I’m going to put more stock in Burke than in a Catholic grade school education.

I think there may be a difference between penance and repentance.

To me, and this is not official I admit, and a very generalized idea, but perhaps this could be the difference:

To repent… means to turn away from sin, to be sorry

Doing penance is the works and fasting to make up for sins

While of course, we should always be doing both, Lent, being a penitential season, is the time set aside to do penance.

Advent, a time of waiting, is the reminder of our need for a savior.

There is still a penitential element to Advent. As I said in a previous post in another thread, Advent is a season of paradoxes. There are penitential aspects to it and there is also that joyful anticipation> I have a book at home called Seek that which is Above. It was written by Pope Benedict XVI about 20 or so years ago. Ignatious Press is reprinting it. He offers some beautiful Advent reflections. I seem to recall his maintainnig that Advent is a penitential season. Give me some time so that I can dig it up.

Correct. It is not like Lent in that Lent is totally penitential in nature. No room for joyful expectation in Lent.

Advent however has elements of both penitance and joy. The following from New Advent Encyclopedia explains it pretty well.

Notwithstanding all these modifications, however, Advent still preserved most of the characteristics of a penitential seasons which made it a kind of counterpart to Lent, the middle (or third) Sunday corresponding with Laetare or Mid-Lent Sunday. On it, as on Laetare Sunday, the organ and flowers, forbidden during the rest of the season, were, permitted to be used; rose-coloured vestments were allowed instead of purple (or black, as formerly); the decon and subdeacon reassumed the dalmatic and tunicle at the chief Mass, and cardinals wore rose-colour instead of purple. All these distinguishing marks have continued in use, and are the present discipline of the Latin Church. Gaudete Sunday, therefore, makes a breaker like Laetare Sunday, about midway through a season which is otherwise of a penitential character, and signifies the nearness of the Lord’s coming. Of the “stations” kept in Rome the four Sundays of Advent, that at the Vatican basilica is assigned to Gaudete, as being the most important and imposing of the four. In both Office and Mass throughout Advent continual reference is made to our Lord’s second coming, and this is emphasized on the third Sunday by the additional signs of gladness permitted on that day. Gaudete Sunday is further marked by a new Invitatory, the Church no longer inviting the faithful to adore merely “The Lord who is to come”, but calling upon them to worship and hail with joy “The Lord who is now nigh and close at hand”.

Advent is indeed a unique season.:thumbsup:

Sad to say in recent years many have stopped looking at Advent as being penitential at all. That is one of the reasons for the proliferation of blue vestments. They symbolize joy and royalty.

I saw Jimmy Akin post that on his blog a year ago. Advent is not a penitential season, although in the past it was. It is more of a season of expectation, however, hints of its former penitential days still exist. The omission of the Gloria is one of them. This doxology begins with the words sung by the Angels at the very first Christmas, we are reserving them for the Nativity of the Lord. Sometimes when something is withheld, you learn to appreciate it when it comes back again.

I found the write up on Jimmy Akin’s blog:

scroll down towards the bottom it was posted on December 1, 2006.

Inasmuch as CA does provide excellent information, there are many of us who still regarded as a Penitential Season. Psalm 45:9, during Lent, the 4th Sunday, to be exact, the Church does switch to rose-colored vestments. This is for Laetare Sunday (like the third Sunday of Advent is Gaudete Sunday). I suppose I was educated under the “old school”, but, it certainly doesn’t hurt to still consider Advent as one of the Church’s penitential seasons, although with a different characteristic than Lent.

I certainly do not want to get into document warfare with any of you on this matter. However, inasmuch as I trust CA on many things, I have been a little leery, especially with their response to a question regarding a Holy Day of Obligation. But, I’m not going to hijack this thread by going into specifics.

If you read the comments to that post there are some good arguments produced to the effect that, while Advent is not designated as a formally penitential season, it does retain somewhat of an indirectly penitential character.