It’s basically pitch shifter up one or two octaves (or both) into a reverb. You can make a DIY version as long as you have those ingredients.
It was, to the best of my knowledge anyway, “invented”/discovered by Brian Eno as an electronic “treatment” to morph a recorded sound into something else. I think he used some kind of eventide box.
It was part of the box of tricks he took to Ireland when he produced U2’s “The Unforgettable Fire”, the Edge then ran with it by incorporating the effect in his live guitar rig as a way of generating synthy bigness to float over the top of his guitar playing.
I remember hearing it all over the first Eno-produced (go figure…) Coldplay album “X & Y”. After that, in the states is was adopted by the praise and worship genre. We don’t have an equivalent in the UK, really. Around that time, you started seeing affordable pedals that could do the sound, which brought it into easy reach of everyone rather than just studios and those with some know-how. Pretty quickly it became a cliché, probably because of it’s association with religious music to be honest.
But, like any production trick, if it genuinely enhances the mood/emotion/message of a track, who cares if it’s a cliché?
This is probably my favourite live example of the time before it was a trope;
U2, Running to Stand Still, 1993.