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Gloria in excelsis Deo - Christmas 2023

Updated: Nov 28, 2023

Recently I was changed through an encounter with a newborn baby. As the wee darling grabbed my finger, it felt like all the cares and stresses of the world just melted away—a moment of connection and pure beauty. Now, as I have been reflecting on Christmas, it struck me that Jesus would have reached out and grabbed Mary or Joseph's finger too. What precious moments they must have shared as his full humanity and divinity broke through into the world.

For this new piece, I have illustrated this image as a traditional stained glass artwork. This is to honour our tradition of beauty through glass, but now illustrated in a modern digital way. The structure and colour makeup have been done accurately, as I did for the books of the Bible windows poster. So, if anyone wants to make this illustration a stained glass reality, just let me know.

The latin on the artwork is Gloria in excelsis De et in terra pax homínibus bonae voluntatis. Which translates to Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. This is taken from scripture (as below), which announces the good news of Jesus's birth and is also sung as a hymn of praise at Christmas time. This version of the hymn with an orchestra on YouTube is powerful and well worth a listen.


There were shepherds in the area living in the fields and keeping night watch by turns over their flock. The angel of God appeared to them, and the glory of God shone around them; they were very much afraid. The angel said to them,

“You have nothing to fear! I come to proclaim good news to you—news of a great joy to be shared by the whole people. Today in David’s city, a savior—the Messiah—has been born to you. Let this be a sign to you: you’ll find an infant wrapped in a simple cloth, lying in a manger.”

Suddenly, there was a multitude of the heavenly host with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in high heaven! And on earth, peace to those on whom God’s favor rests.”

Luke 2: 8-14 (The Inclusive Bible translation)


Perhaps you might like to use the image as a centrepiece for a prayer space and take some time to reflect on what Christmas means for you.

- Where have I and/or we experienced beauty breaking through?

- How would I and/or we like to give praise to God this Christmas for the gift of Jesus in our midst?

I hope this new image reminds us that our God is with us always. Breaking through in unexpected beautiful moments of connection then and now. I pray we remember our many blessings with gratitude this Advent, Christmas and New Year.

Meri Kirihimete

Much love and prayer

~ Jane

> New Greeting Card Download: To combat shipping costs, and as a response to requests, I have created a new downloadable Christmas card available for purchase.

> High Quality Print: Order your fine-quality print of this new Gloria in excelsis Deo Christmas image.

> Free designjane Resources: Download free Advent resources

> Connection Email: View the latest Connection email with beauty, goodness, and truth news from around the globe.


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