What is the Doxology?Question: "What is the Doxology?"
Answer: The dictionary defines doxology as “an expression of praise to God, especially a short hymn sung as part of a Christian worship service.” The word doxology comes from the Greek doxa, (“glory, splendor, grandeur”) and logos, (“word” or “speaking”). Most doxologies are short hymns of praise to God in various Christian worship services, often added to the end of canticles, psalms, and hymns.
The Gloria Patri, so named for its first two words in Latin, is commonly used as a doxology by Roman Catholics, Old Catholics, Independent Catholics, Orthodox and many Protestants including Anglicans, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists, and Reformed Baptists. It is called the "Lesser Doxology," thus distinguished from the "Great Doxology," Gloria in Excelsis Deo, and is often called simply "the Doxology." The Latin text of the Lesser Doxology is “Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto. Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in sæcula sæculorum. Amen.” Literally translated, it means “Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.” As well as praising God, this doxology is also a short declaration of faith in the co-equality of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity.
Another commonly heard doxology is “Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow,” which was written in 1674 by Thomas Ken, a priest in the Church of England. The familiar words are “Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow; Praise Him, all creatures here below; Praise Him above, ye Heavenly Host; Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.”
Although the word doxology is not found in the Bible, the themes expressed in doxologies are certainly scriptural. Praising God for His blessings (Ephesians 1:3), ascribing to Him all glory (Romans 11:36; Ephesians 3:21), and affirming the Trinity (Matthew 28:19) have always been integral parts of true Christian worship.
Recommended Resource: How to Worship Jesus Christ: Experiencing His Manifest Presence by Joseph Carroll
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