Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit
as it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
The ‘Glory Be‘ is what is called a doxology: in other words, a hymn of praise to God. Other doxologies include the Gloria sung during Mass and the Per Ipsum (‘Through Him and with Him and in Him’) sung by the priest at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer.
The ‘Glory Be‘ is an excellent way to round off a period of quiet prayer or contemplation. It can be said after having spent some time reflecting on a bible passage or at the end of a period of praying for other people. It is a good way to end parish meetings.
‘Glory’ translates the Greek word, doxa (hence doxology) which in turn is used to translate the Hebrew word kabod.
The Hebrew word kabod originally meant heaviness or weightiness. It came to refer to something hidden away but whose presence could be felt by the weight or bulk (a bit like a bag full of gold bars – the presence and value of the bars could be sensed by the weight and bulk of the bag).
Gradually it was used to refer to God’s presence: something of ultimate value. Finally it came to suggest honour, importance and majesty.
In praying the ‘Glory Be‘ we are honouring the majesty of God but also recognising his presence in our lives and in our world.