Is this liturgical abuse?

Whenever we sing ‘Gloria’ in our Parish they sing the beginning like, “Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace on earth, peace to people of good will.” I looked up the lyrics online and saw that is not how the beginning goes. Is this abuse?

Short answer - no.

Seems like sung Glorias are given a little leeway as far as repetitions and keeping meter and so forth. I don’t know how much, though, as in the Spanish Mass the Glorias seem to be far different from the text.

In a sense it is, because Gloria is a hymn, with a specific text. It’s not in the power of the people to change liturgical hymns.

Supposedly the “new” Mass settings were to clear up this notion that composers can “mess with” the texts. In the past, there were endless repetitions, call and response themes, etc. that frankly were trite and bugged the clergy no end.
Most of my pastors forbid the use of call and response, and too many “Amens” and the like that were only there as a musical motif.

It’s abuse, yeah. But you’ll have to take it up with the Pastor. The Choir Director selected that setting for some reason, and presumably likes it. Be prepared for it to remain as it stands, unless they switch up the Mass settings seasonally.

If I can find the link to the document that forbids the repetitions and word insertions, I’ll post it.

Aren’t these mass settings approved by the bishops? If so I would assume they are not abuses even when they take liberties with the text.

Well, people (even Bishops) have varying degrees of tolerance for these things. And laypeople often have huge differences of opinions on what’s permissible and what is harmful. There’s always going to be someone unhappy. The Church in her wisdom does set boundaries.

It isn’t an abuse. I know the setting you’re referring to and here’s what’s going on.

For a long, long time, all the way back to the earliest days of music as we know it now ,(chant, the beginning of choral music 600+ years ago) repetitions of text have been allowed.

For example, anytime you hear each part of the Kyrie chanted 3 times, it’s not really different than the Gloria you heard.

If you look around, you’ll find the document that indicates that repetitions like this, for musical reasons, are permitted. Now, if the composer chooses to alter the text, that’s a whole other problem. But that’s not what’s going on here.

Relax’…and give praise!

Somehow I doubt God, whose mercy extends to the most horrific offenses, would not get over a slight lyrical change.

Do you think the blessed virgin doesn’t intercede and carry your prayers to Jesus if you say a rosary and mix the mysteries up?

=whoisdiss;12087564]Whenever we sing ‘Gloria’ in our Parish they sing the beginning like, “Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth, peace on earth, peace to people of good will.” I looked up the lyrics online and saw that is not how the beginning goes. Is this abuse?


A refrain is permitted in the US by approval of the Bishop’s conference. The documents are Policy for the Approval of Sung Settings of Liturgical Texts and Sing To The Lord.

I actually LOVE this setting of the Gloria. But I can understand wanting to make sure the Mass is celebrated properly. I believe that it is allowed. I have heard it at my parish as well as others in other dioceses far away. Sometimes this might be a ‘gateway’ to other abuses, but if it doesn’t, don’t sweat it as much.

I hope not! Because sometimes I might miss a Hail Mary and say one or two extra, just in case…so I haven’t followed the prescribed prayer. But that is a private devotion, not a Mass, so there is a difference.

I belonged to a parish for a short while that had many abuses (and yes, they were. I did a LOT of research and work on it). One in particular included changing the actual words during the Creed, the Eucharistic Prayers and some others to make them more ‘inclusive’, and removed references to God as our Father (He). There were more, but that was a big one. Be alert to abuses, but don’t be oversensitive. It’s a hard line to find! :slight_smile:

I would be interested to see this. I don’t think such a rule against repetitions exists.

However, I do think a case could be made against this song because it apparently takes liberties with the word order. “Peace on earth” is not part of the current translation, which goes “and on earth peace to people of goodwill.”

I do hope I’m not derailing anything here. This is not a case on point, but is relevant by analogy. What are your thoughts about the Agnus Dei sung “in the round”?

:confused: Don’t know what that is. Should I know?

Repetition isn’t abuse, though I personally don’t like it at all. But what you wrote actually changes the words somewhat. That is an abuse. Not a major abuse, but an abuse nonetheless.

“Glory to God*,** Glory to God, Glory to God* in the highest, and on earth, peace* on earth, peace* to people of good will.”

In this case it is repetition (echoing) of phrases rather than words.

Ah, I misread. You’re right.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit