from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The Kyrie.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. Greek words, meaning “Lord, have mercy upon us,” used in the Mass, the breviary offices, the litany of the saints, etc.
- n. The name given to the response to the Commandments, in the service of the Church of England and of the Protestant Episcopal Church.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Literally, Lord, have mercy! a brief petition, founded on nearly identical Scriptural phrases (for example, Ps. cxxiii. 3, Mat. xx. 30), used as a response in the primitive liturgies and in the eucharistic and other offices of Oriental churches to the present day.
- n. The first movement or division in a musical setting of a Roman Catholic mass or the Anglican communion office, the text being the petitions above mentioned.
And as we went down the stairs together we chanted the Kyrie eleison for our small sins, easing conscience by the mutual confession that we were arrant hypocrites.
The only difference is that all these cases have an accusative after the verb: Kyrie eleison me, or eleison hemas.
A glance at the Roman liturgical books will show what other preces were usually added — Kyrie eleison (repeated several times) and certain