American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A hymn that accompanies the exit of the clergy and choir after a service.
- n. A recession from a church.
- adj. Of or relating to a recession.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- Pertaining to or connected with recession, or a receding movement, as that of the choir or congregation at the close of a service: as, a recessional hymn.
- n. A hymn sung while the clergy and choir are leaving a church at the end of a service of public worship.
- n. Music played during a church recession.
GNU Webster's 1913
- adj. Of or pertaining to recession or withdrawal.
- n. a hymn or other piece of music sung or played while a church congregation is leaving a service, or a choir is returning to the cloak room; a recessional hymn.
- n. the withdrawal of the clergy and choir from the chancel to the vestry at the end of a church service
- adj. of or relating to receding
- n. a hymn that is sung at the end of a service as the clergy and choir withdraw
- recession + -al (Wiktionary)
“You saw that in recessional year elections in 1958, 1970, 1982.”
“And the recessional was a loud Bach piece called "In Thee is Joy.”
“This system is referred to as recessional agriculture and also may involve sorghum.”
“Amen! A recessional is a hymn sung while the clergy and the choir are retiring at the end of a church service.”
“Although verses of "Silent Night" and "Joy to the World" were interspersed with the chants that opened the service and sung — in Church Slavonic — as a kind of recessional hymn, there were no "hymns" as Protestants would think of them.”
“Later, just after the "recessional" when it was just Gary and me with no one else around.”
“The last sound of the recessional is the echo of flutes.) (A group of workmen passes.”
“After the recessional hymn, many parishioners stay and chat with one another for a few minutes, before slowly making their way back outside.”
“Hundreds of congregants spill out of the sanctuary to the sound of a spirited organ recessional as the second Sunday worship service at Trinity Boston comes to an end.”
“As the recessional played, pallbearers Jethro English, C. K. Steele, and Fred Bennette slowly carried the coffin down the center aisle and to the church foyer.”
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