Religion Past and Present

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(187 words)

[German Version]

a chant that follows a lection in the Roman liturgy of the mass (responsorium graduale) and the Liturgy of the Hours (Daily Office) or is sung to accompany a procession. The structure of a responsory is based on the principle of multiple repetitions of an unvarying element as an aid to meditation: a precentor introduces a melodic segment, the responsum, with which all respond after each (semi-)verse sung by the schola or a soloist. Use of this form in Christian worship is attested as early as the 3rd/4th century (Tertullian, Egeria). The …

Cite this page
Klöckner, Stefan, “Responsory”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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