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Angels we have heard on high


Legend says that shepherds would imitate the son of the angels who announced the birth of Jesus so many years ago. They would call to each other, “Gloria in Excelsis!” Glory to God in the highest!

In the mid-1800s, the words were set to music, based on a popular French carol, “Angels in Our Field.” In the early 1860s, Catholic Bishop James Chadwidk (1813-1882) wrote the English translation for this carol.

Another legend credits Pope Telesphorus, who in 129 A.D. ordered the Gloria refrain to be sung annually on the birth of Christ. This eventually evolved into the Christmas carol known today.


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