offertory

offertory

[aw-fer-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, of-er-]
offertory [Lat.,=offering], in the Roman Catholic Mass and in derived liturgical forms, the preparation of bread and wine on the altar and their formal offering to God. It takes place after the gospel and the creed and before the preface. A short psalm verse from Scriptures is appointed to be said or sung at the beginning; it varies from day to day. This is called the offertory verse. From ancient times it has been customary to collect the alms of the worshipers about the time of the offertory, hence the term has been transferred to the collection taken up in services in Protestant churches and to the music played or sung during the collection. The choice of this selection is usually left to the musicians of the church, and in many Protestant churches the offertory is the choir's principal musical selection in the service.
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.

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