American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. Roman Catholic Church See Hail Mary.
GNU Webster's 1913
- A salutation and prayer to the Virgin Mary, as mother of God; -- used in the Roman Catholic church.
- A particular time (as in Italy, at the ringing of the bells about half an hour after sunset, and also at early dawn), when the people repeat the Ave Maria.
- n. a salutation to the Virgin Mary now used in prayers to her
- Middle English, from Medieval Latin Avē Maria. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Arcadelt, a pontifical singer, composed an eight-part Pater Noster; his better known Ave Maria is of doubtful authenticity.”
“In these as in all liturgical texts, the omission, transposition, alteration, substitution, or awkward combination of the words (even in inserted pieces, e.g. the Ave Maria at the Offertory, after the proper offertory has been recited) is forbidden.”
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