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[aw-fer-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, of-er-] /ˈɔ fərˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˈɒf ər-/
noun, plural offertories.
(sometimes initial capital letter) the offering of the unconsecrated elements that is made to God by the celebrant in a Eucharistic service.
  1. the verses, anthem, or music said, sung, or played while the offerings of the people are received at a religious service.
  2. that part of a service at which offerings are made.
  3. the offerings themselves.
Origin of offertory
1350-1400; Middle English offertorie < Medieval Latin offertōrium place to which offerings are brought, offering, oblation, equivalent to Latin offer(re) (see offer) + -tōrium -tory2; cf. oblation
Related forms
offertorial, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for offertory
Historical Examples
  • When, after the offertory, Pierre uncovered the chalice he felt contempt for himself.

  • The only part that must be new will be the offertory for the day, unless you happen to have that too.'

    Stradella F(rancis) Marion Crawford
  • Even the check that you put in the plate when you take the offertory up the aisle on Sunday morning?

    The Unknown Quantity Henry van Dyke
  • The offertory having been recited, the priest uncovered the chalice.

  • One of the most pleasing parts of the service is the taking up of the offertory.

    The Quiver 12/1899 Anonymous
  • It would be like putting bad money into the offertory to put me into that holy work.

    The Christian Hall Caine
  • I know, dear, three services on Sunday and a shilling for the offertory.

    The Celebrity at Home Violet Hunt
  • But when the offertory was reached, matters suddenly quickened.

  • You must understand there's a weekly offertory in our church.

    Mad Shepherds L. P. Jacks
  • He sang an offertory solo, accompanying himself on the harmonium.

    My New Curate P.A. Sheehan
British Dictionary definitions for offertory


noun (pl) -tories
the oblation of the bread and wine at the Eucharist
the offerings of the worshippers at this service
the prayers said or sung while the worshippers' offerings are being received
Word Origin
C14: from Church Latin offertōrium place appointed for offerings, from Latin offerre to offer
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 offertory

"the part of a Mass at which offerings are made," late 14c., from Medieval Latin offertorium "place where offerings are brought," from Vulgar Latin offertus, corresponding to Latin oblatus, past participle of offerre (see offer (v.)). Meaning "part of a religious service" is first recorded 1530s; sense of "collection of money" is from 1862.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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