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Kyrie eleison

[Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church keer-ee-ey e-ley-uh-sawn, -son, -suh n; Greek Orthodox Church kee-ree-e e-le-ee-sawn] /Roman Catholic Church, Anglican Church ˈkɪər iˌeɪ ɛˈleɪ əˌsɔn, -ˌsɒn, -sən; Greek Orthodox Church ˈki ri ɛ ɛˈlɛ i sɔn/
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 Kyrie. a musical setting of either of these.
Origin of Kyrie eleison
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English kyrieleyson < Medieval Latin, Late Latin Kyrie eleīson < Late Greek Kýrie eléēson Lord, have mercy
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for Kyrie eleison
Historical Examples
  • Maria Nuova, and the "Kyrie eleison" was chaunted a hundred times.

    Walks in Rome Augustus J.C. Hare
  • "Kyrie eleison," repeated the throng in that murmur which runs over all heads, like the waves of a troubled sea.

    Notre-Dame de Paris Victor Hugo
  • The fire was then kindled, and his voice as it audibly prayed in the words of the “Kyrie eleison” was soon stifled in the smoke.

  • Louder and louder sounded the "Kyrie eleison," with more and more valour and joy of victory the Christians pressed forward.

    Pine Needles Susan Bogert Warner
  • The first, which was the Kyrie eleison, is in D major, a movement full of fire and deep religious feeling.

    Life of Beethoven Anton Schindler
British Dictionary definitions for Kyrie eleison

Kyrie eleison

/ˈkɪrɪɪ əˈleɪsən/
noun
1.
a formal invocation used in the liturgies of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Anglican Churches
2.
a musical setting of this
Often shortened to Kyrie
Word Origin
C14: via Late Latin from Late Greek kurie, eleēson Lord, have mercy
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Kyrie eleison

kyrie eleison

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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