The “Gloria Patri” is a distinctly Trinitarian ancient hymn of the Church. All three Members of the Trinity are addressed in parallel form. Historically, the Gloria Patri became universal among Christians after the Council of Nicea (towards the end of the 4th Century AD).
‘Gloria Patri’ is the summary title of the full Latin phrase some might recognize in the words, “Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto” meaning “Glory to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.”
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.
Two words that help our understanding:
(1) Doxology – a short hymn of praise to God found in various Christian assemblies.
(2) Liturgy – the form in which religious worship is conducted. In a very real sense, every Church service has some sort of liturgy, even when it is not written down.
Jesus said, “I will build My Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18). As we sing the Gloria Patri, there is a sense of historic awe in singing in unity with Christ’s Church through the ages, proclaiming the one true God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We do so in English, of course, while it is interesting to see these same words expressed in other languages (gathered from Wikipedia):
Gloria Patri, et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto,
Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper, et in saecula saeculorum. Amen.
Δόξα Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ καὶ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι,
καὶ νῦν καὶ ἀεὶ καὶ εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. Ἀμήν.
المجد للآب و الابن و الروح القدس
.الان و كل أوان و الى دهر الداهرين، أمين
East Syriac (used by the Assyrian Church of the East and the Chaldean Catholic Church):
Shouha tababa, W-brona, W-ruha dqudsha,
min’alam w’adamma L-’alam, Amen.