from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One of the principal parts of the Eucharistic liturgy at which bread and wine are offered to God by the celebrant.
  • noun A musical setting for this part of the liturgy.
  • noun A collection of offerings at a religious service.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of offering, or the thing offered.
  • noun Eccles.: In medieval usage — A cloth of fine linen or richer material used to receive the bread offered by the people.
  • noun A cloth with which the deacon or assistant at mass lifted the chalice.
  • noun A strip of silk worn like a scarf, with which the acolyte, or afterward the subdeacon, held the empty paten from the time of the lesser oblation till the end of the canon. Also called the offertory veil.
  • noun In the mass of the Roman Catholic and in the communion office of the Anglican and Protestant Episcopal churches— The verses or the anthem said or sung while the gifts of the people are received and the celebrant is placing the unconsecrated elements on the altar; also, the musical setting of such verses or anthem.
  • noun The money (or, as formerly, other gifts) then received from the people.
  • noun The oblation of the unconsecrated elements then made by the celebrant. Also called the lesser oblation. See oblation, 3.
  • noun The part of the service beginning with the offertory verses or anthem and ending before the Sursum Corda.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Obs. or R. The act of offering, or the thing offered.
  • noun An anthem chanted, or a voluntary played on the organ, during the offering and first part of the Mass.
  • noun That part of the Mass which the priest reads before uncovering the chalice to offer up the elements for consecration.
  • noun The oblation of the elements.
  • noun The Scripture sentences said or sung during the collection of the offerings.
  • noun The offerings themselves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun money offered or donated during a church service
  • noun the part of a church service when offerings are collected
  • noun music sung or played during the offertory of a church service

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the offerings of the congregation at a religious service
  • noun the part of the Eucharist when bread and wine are offered to God


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English offertori, from Late Latin offertōrium, from Latin offerre, to offer; see offer.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin offertorium, from verb offere, offer, + suffix -torium.


  • The offertory is the part of the service when the offerings of the people are collected and brought to the altar.

    An Instructed Eucharist

  • The offertory is the part of the service when the offerings of the people are collected and brought to the altar.

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  • This is called the offertory of the Mass, and takes place after the boy presents the wine and water.

    Baltimore Catechism No. 4 (of 4) An Explanation of the Baltimore Catechism of Christian Doctrine

  • He reminded the people gathered to say goodbye to Michael that the young man had been baptised in the same church, in October 1986, and one of the gifts brought to the altar at the offertory was a candle to symbolise the candle burning at the time of that baptism ceremony less than 22 and a half years ago. - Frontpage RSS Feed

  • The offertory was the most typically "African moment," as men and women carried fruits, vegetables, bread and a live goat to the foot of the altar and swayed to a lilting tune picked out on an electric guitar.

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  • In regard to the oblation, two things are done, namely, the people's praise in singing the "offertory," expressing the joy of the offerers, and the priest's prayer asking for the people's oblation to be made acceptable to God.

    Summa Theologica, Part III (Tertia Pars) From the Complete American Edition

  • Ellen remembered Mike’s boast —” I keep her gassed up and ready to go” — as though the plane were a lucky talisman, as though his attentions to it were a kind of offertory to the gods to guarantee his safety.


  • In the typical case — which you can discover by wandering into any random American parish mid morning on Sunday — you find untrained volunteers doing what large music publishers are instructing them to do week after week, which amounts to belting out four songs (processional, offertory, communion, and recessional) that have no precedent in the history of the Roman Rite, either stylistically or textually.

    Getting from Here to There

  • Here is a video of the epistle and gradual, and one of the offertory; more are to be found on Nowy Ruch Liturgiczny.

    Videos of Pontifical Mass in Poznań, Poland

  • And if I were in any doubt that my penance was relevant to the, uh, "crime", there was that offertory hymn.

    Festum Angelorum


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