Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online

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Kyrie Eleison
(1,505 words)

The liturgical acclamation invokes the “Lord” (Kyrie) as the bestower of “grace” and “mercy” (eleison). Influenced by both biblical and pagan expression and performance, Kyrie, along with its Latin equivalent, Miserere domine (or Domine miserere), has been employed in a range of rites and imprecatory settings, while undergoing significant amplification and formal developments over the centuries. Its earliest surviving appearance, in a process…

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Dunkle, Brian, “Kyrie Eleison”, in: Brill Encyclopedia of Early Christianity Online, General Editor David G. Hunter, Paul J.J. van Geest, Bert Jan Lietaert Peerbolte. Consulted online on 08 December 2023 <>
First published online: 2022

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