Definition of responsory in English:


Line breaks: re|spon¦sory
Pronunciation: /rɪˈspɒns(ə)ri

noun (plural responsories)

  • (In the Christian Church) an anthem said or sung by a soloist and choir after a lesson.
    More example sentences
    • I was introduced to his music by something he probably considered rather minor: a little book of hymns and responsories for the church year.
    • The chants set were Vespers responsories, Mass graduals, and alleluias, and perhaps some processional antiphons.
    • Prime refers to the Divine Office, the regimen of worship separated into daily ‘hours’ - those psalms, canticles, hymns, responsories, antiphons, and so on, distinct from the mass.


late Middle English: from late Latin responsorium, from Latin respons- 'answered' from the verb respondere (see respond).

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