Got Questions October 2016

“Where does the Doxology come from?”

First, a definition: a ‘doxology’ is a hymn or chant in praise of God that gives glory to the Persons of the Trinity. There is no one doxology, but it is a more generic classification. You can think of it this way: prayer is an extremely generic term in the bulletin, a prayer of confession is a specific type of prayer but there are many different prayers of confession one might pray. Likewise the doxology is a type of hymn, but there are many different doxologies one might sing. Some of the most common are the ‘Gloria in excelsis (known as the Greater doxology) and the ‘Gloria Patri’ (known as the Lesser doxology”, there are also a number of metrical forms that are sung. What we sing as the ‘doxology’ in worship each Sunday is actually just the sixt verse of the hymn “Awake my Soul and with the Sun’ written by Thomas Ken in 1695. At the time it was written it was considered blasphemous because up to this time only direct words of scripture were sung in church. It is a bit ironic when you consider that a song that was considered blasphemous and inappropriate for church is now considered a required part of most worship services. (Incidentally the Doxology as we sing it in church is the “faith foundation” that the Sunday School students are learning for the month of October. Join us for worship on October 30th and you will hear our children share this and other songs they are learning in class).