THE WORD: Gloria in excelsis Deo

Do you ever take Christmas off, Charlie Brown? (AP Photo/ABC, 1965 United Feature Syndicate Inc.)

As the advent season draws to a close this Sunday, the celebration of Christmas is upon us. As we hustle for potentially out-of-stock presents and wait on delayed packages, we hear a similar refrain about knowing the true meaning of the season.  

One of the simplest examples of this almost cliché time of the year was recited in “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” when the eponymous lead, Charlie, says to his buddy Linus, “I guess I don’t really know what Christmas is all about. Isn’t there anyone who knows what Christmas is all about?” 

Cue Linus, who says, “Lights, please.” The blanket-toting intellectual then recites the familiar story of the arrival of Jesus from Luke 2. He ends with the ever-popular Luke 2:14. This verse begins the Greater Doxology and is integrated into the carol “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Just as the angels heralded the birth of Jesus Christ to the shepherds, we too should be singing glory to God… in the highest.  


Luke 2: 14 

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.