AskDefine | Define offertory

Dictionary Definition



1 the offerings of the congregation at a religious service
2 the part of the Eucharist when bread and wine are offered to God

User Contributed Dictionary



From Latin offertorium, from verb offere, offer, + suffix -torium.


(US) IPA: /ˈɑfərˌtɔri/


  1. money offered or donated during a church service
    • 1914: Stephen Leacock, Arcadian Adventures with the Idle Rich - Before a month had passed the congregation at the evening service at St. Asaph's Church was so slender that the offertory, as Mr. Furlong senior himself calculated, was scarcely sufficient to pay the overhead charge of collecting it.
  2. the part of a church service when offerings are collected
    • 1922: Upton Sinclair, They Call Me Carpenter - I sat through the sermon, and the offertory, and the recessional.
  3. music sung or played during the offertory of a church service
    • c.1390: Geoffrey Chaucer, Canterbury Tales - But alderbest [best of all] he sang an offertory: / For well he wiste [knew], when that song was sung, / He muste preach,...
    • 1922: Sinclair Lewis, Babbitt - There was an impressive musical program, conducted by Sheldon Smeeth, educational director of the Y.M.C.A., who also sang the offertory.

Related terms

Extensive Definition

Offertory (from the ecclesiastical Latin offertorium, French offertoire, a place to which offerings were brought), the alms of a congregation collected in church, or at any religious service.
Offertory has also a special sense in the services of both the English and Roman churches. It forms in both that part of the Communion service appointed to be spoken or sung, during the collection of alms, before the elements are consecrated.
In music, an offertory is the vocal or instrumental setting of the offertory sentences (as in Gregorian chant), or, less common, the name for a short instrumental piece played by the organist, or hymn sung by the choir while the collection is being made.
In the Roman Rite Mass the Offertory chant verses in ancient times were followed by a Litany or response chant sung by the choir and the people.
In the Roman Missal of St. Pius V (Tridentine) and already centuries before Pius V's codification, the Offertory was reduced to the singing of only the antiphone. The priest recites the (antiphone) Offertory chants privately after the Dominus vobiscum. He then proceeds with the offering or preparing of the gifts (bread and wine), along with incensing the altar.


offertory in German: Offertorium
offertory in Esperanto: Ofertorio
offertory in Spanish: Ofertorio
offertory in French: Offertoire
offertory in Italian: Offertorio
offertory in Dutch: Offertorium
offertory in Polish: Offertorium
offertory in Slovak: Ofertórium (spev)
offertory in Finnish: Offertorium
offertory in Swedish: Offertorium

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Agnus Dei, Benedicite, Gloria, Gloria Patri, Gloria in Excelsis, Introit, Magnificat, Miserere, Negro spiritual, Nunc Dimittis, Te Deum, Trisagion, Vedic hymn, alleluia, alms, alms fee, answer, anthem, antiphon, antiphony, burnt offering, cantata, canticle, chant, charity, chorale, church music, collection, contribution, dole, donation, donative, doxology, drink offering, ex voto offering, gospel, gospel music, hallelujah, handout, heave offering, hecatomb, holocaust, hosanna, human sacrifice, hymn, hymn of praise, hymn-tune, hymnody, hymnography, hymnology, immolation, incense, infanticide, introit, laud, libation, mactation, mantra, mass, motet, oblation, offering, offertory sentence, oratorio, paean, passion, peace offering, piacular offering, pittance, prosodion, psalm, psalmody, recessional, report, requiem, requiem mass, response, responsory, sacramental offering, sacred music, sacrifice, scapegoat, self-immolation, self-sacrifice, spiritual, subscription, suttee, sutteeism, thank offering, tithe, versicle, votive offering, white spiritual, whole offering
Privacy Policy, About Us, Terms and Conditions, Contact Us
Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2
Material from Wikipedia, Wiktionary, Dict
Valid HTML 4.01 Strict, Valid CSS Level 2.1