kyrie eleison


noun

  1. (italics) the brief petition “Lord, have mercy,” used in various offices of the Greek Orthodox Church and of the Roman Catholic Church.
  2. the brief response or petition in services in the Anglican Church, beginning with the words, “Lord, have mercy upon us.”
  3. Also called Kyr·i·e. a musical setting of either of these.

noun

  1. a formal invocation used in the liturgies of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Anglican Churches
  2. a musical setting of this

early 13c., Greek liturgical formula, adopted untranslated into the Latin mass, literally “lord have mercy” (Ps. cxxii:3, Matt. xv:22, xvii:15, etc.). From kyrie, vocative of kyrios “lord, master” (see church) + eleeson, aorist imperative of eleo “I have pity on, show mercy to,” from eleos “pity, mercy” (see alms).

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