By Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S.

From Angels We Have Heard on High


Gloria in excelsis Deo! 

God taught Moses how to call down a blessing upon God’s people,

and for over three thousand years, rabbis and priests have been pronouncing this blessing.

The Lord bless you and keep you!

The Lord let his face shine upon you

and be gracious to you!

The Lord look upon you kindly and give you peace!

God had wanted to bless God’s people,

and as we begin a New Year, God wants to bless us once again.


Gloria in excelsis Deo! 

The Psalmist taught the people of God

how to ask for a blessing.

May God have pity on us and bless us!

God wanted us to ask for a blessing whenever we need one,

and as we begin this New Year,

looking around our world,

we certainly need a blessing.

Gloria in excelsis Deo! 

In Jesus, we have been richly blessed,

for we are no longer slaves,

but children of God,

heirs of a kingdom like no other,

and we are able to cry out to God,

“Abba, Father!”

Our God is not out there somewhere.

Our God is as close as a father to his newborn child.

Throughout this New Year,

we need to remember how blessed we are

to have a God so close to us

that we can call our God, “Father.”


Gloria in excelsis Deo! 

As we continue to celebrate this Christmas season,

we are invited to see what the shepherds saw,

to witness the newborn infant lying in a manger,

to make the message of Jesus known to all whom we meet,

and to not only reflect on all these things in our hearts,

as Mary did,

but to also glorify and praise God

for all we have seen and heard,

not only during this Christmas season,

but also, throughout the New Year and beyond.


Gloria in excelsis Deo! 

As we continue to celebrate the Christmas season,

as we begin this New Year,

we remember all the blessings of the past,

and look forward to the blessings yet to come.


The poet and philosopher Howard Thurman

wrote about this season,

When the song of the Angels is stilled,

When the star is the sky is gone,

When the kings and the princes are home

Then the real work of Christmas begins:

To find the lost,

To heal the broken,

To feed the hungry,

To welcome the stranger,

To release the prisoner,

To rebuild the nations,

To bring peace among the peoples,

To make music in the heart.


In order to do all these things,

we need a blessing,

and this day we join Aaron,

the Psalmist, our fellow sons and daughters of God,

shepherds and Mary, the mother God,

calling for a blessing on us,

as we begin this New Year of the Lord,

and seek to not only reflect on all these things in our hearts,

but to bring them to life in our world today

which is in such a need of a blessing.

Gloria in excelsis Deo! 



Fr. Dennis Chriszt, C.PP.S., is the director of advanced formation for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. He also directs Precious Blood Parish Missions (


Missionaries of the Precious Blood