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Litany
(244 words)

“Litany” (Gk. litaneia, “entreaty”), a term for petitionary prayer, denotes a whole literary genus in the history of religion in which one or more petitions or invocations of persons or gods are presented by one or several people, and the other participants answer with a set refrain (e.g., Psalm 136). The Kyrie of the Mass is the relic of a litany. The All Saints Litany is another form of the genus, which M. Luther (1483–1546) used as the basis of his Latin Litany (1529).

In the Roman Catholic liturgy litanies are sung on certain occasions. Anglican churches (Anglican Communion) have an ex…

Cite this page
Schnitker, Thaddeus A., “Litany”, in: Encyclopedia of Christianity Online. Consulted online on 03 April 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2211-2685_eco_L378>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004169678, 20080512



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