Definitions

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

  • noun A hymn or piece of music that accompanies a ceremonial recession.
  • noun A recession from a church.
  • adjective Of or relating to a recession.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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.
  • noun A hymn sung while the clergy and choir are leaving a church at the end of a service of public worship.

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

  • adjective Of or pertaining to recession or withdrawal.
  • adjective a hymn sung in a procession returning from the choir to the robing room; a recessional.
  • noun 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.

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

  • noun Music played during a church recession.

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

  • noun the withdrawal of the clergy and choir from the chancel to the vestry at the end of a church service
  • adjective of or relating to receding
  • noun a hymn that is sung at the end of a service as the clergy and choir withdraw

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

recession +‎ -al

Examples

  • You saw that in recessional year elections in 1958, 1970, 1982.

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  • And the recessional was a loud Bach piece called "In Thee is Joy."

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  • This system is referred to as recessional agriculture and also may involve sorghum.

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  • Amen! A recessional is a hymn sung while the clergy and the choir are retiring at the end of a church service.

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  • 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.

    Philocrites: December 2003 Archives

  • 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.

    Philocrites: Ah, Byzantium!

  • Later, just after the "recessional" when it was just Gary and me with no one else around.

    Offbeat Bride

  • The last sound of the recessional is the echo of flutes.) (A group of workmen passes.

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  • After the recessional hymn, many parishioners stay and chat with one another for a few minutes, before slowly making their way back outside.

    American Grace

  • 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.

    American Grace

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  • For some reason this words strikes me as particularly heartbreaking.

    July 28, 2010