The Parish Church of St George the Martyr, Waterlooville


At the Church of St Lawrence, Christ Church, Barbados, where Rod attends with his relatives in February of each year, the priest, the Revd Sandra Hazell invariably concludes the service with a doxology. The choir and congregation sing lustily and with reverence:

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.

This version is often referred to as The Common Doxology and its derivation is the third verse of a hymn - Awake my Soul and with the Sun… composed in 1674 by Bishop Ken. It was companion to his evening hymn - Glory to Thee my God this night - and in most Protestant churches is sung to the tune Old Hundredth.

The sentiments of praise to God for his goodness and mercy are expressed in many places in the Bible, though the word Doxology is not used. An example is to be found in Matthew 6.13 as the coda to the Lord’s Prayer.

For thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

In the Book of Common Worship there is a rendering of the same sense but the scansion is poor - …for the Kingdom, the Power and the Glory are yours for ever.

An example in the Old Testament is to be seen in 1 Chronicles 9.11 (David’s prayer):

Thine O Lord is the greatness and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty, for all that is in the heaven and the earth is thine. Thine is the kingdom O Lord and thou art exalted as head above all.

The word Doxology comes from two Greek words loosely translated as ‘glory’ and ‘word’. Logos (word) is problematic to express in English - note the opening lines of St John’s Gospel, which are sublime in prosody but perplexing in content.

In some Anglican churches the sentence is often omitted at the end of the psalms, though retained in the Lord’s Prayer. Roman Catholics do not generally include it in the Lord’s Prayer since it was not referred to in the earliest manuscript versions of Matthew’s Gospel or that of Luke.

The Latin version, traditionally used, is:

Gloria Patri et Filio, et Spiritui Sancto

Sicut erat in principio, et nunc, et semper,

Et in saecula secularism.


Rod Dawson

Winter Edition 2012

The Doxology