Definitions

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

  • n. A short verse.
  • n. A short sentence spoken or chanted by a priest and followed by a response from the congregation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In poetry, and songs, particularly hymns, one of a series of lines that are shorter than a standard line of verse.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A little verse; especially, a short verse or text said or sung in public worship by the priest or minister, and followed by a response from the people.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A little verse; specifically, in liturgics, one of a succession of short verses said or sung alternately by the officiant and choir or people; especially, the verse said by the officiant or leader as distinguished from the response (R) of the choir or congregation. See verse, 2 .

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

  • n. a short verse said or sung by a priest or minister in public worship and followed by a response from the congregation

Etymologies

Middle English, from Latin versiculus, diminutive of versus, verse; see verse1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Moreover, he served the Brothers humbly in his office of sacristan for nearly four years, and so that versicle which is sung for confessors was apt and fitting for him "who was ever pious and prudent, lowly and modest, sober and chaste and peaceful so long as this present life endured in his bodily limbs."

    The Chronicle of the Canons Regular of Mount St. Agnes

  • The eighth is the identical in text, but not in music, to the Introit of the feast of the Holy Trinity, and has a different versicle accompanying it; the last of these nine is the famous “Ubi caritas.”

    Compendium of the 1955 Holy Week Revisions of Pius XII: Part 3 - The Mass of Holy Thursday and the Mandatum

  • The Hour of Matins is divided into three nocturns, as on the greater feasts, each of which consists of three psalms with their antiphons, a versicle, and three readings with their responsories.

    Compendium of the 1955 Holy Week Revisions of Pius XII: Part 5 - Tenebrae and the Divine Office of the Triduum

  • The name of this extremely popular Yiddish work derives from the beginning of the versicle “O maidens of Zion, go forth and gaze …” (Song of Songs 3: 11) which appears in the frontispiece after the title: חמשה חומשי תורה מגילות והפטרות בלשון אשכנז (The five books of the Pentateuch, the Megillot and the Haftarot in Yiddish).

    Ze'enah U-Re'enah.

  • One back in the chancel, the clerks sing more ployphonic acclamations, a versicle and a further prayer, ending with a final Benedicamus.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • Other chants, like Agnus dei: Qui pius ac mitis, were expanded, or “troped” with additional text and music, and it was perhaps as an educational gesture that Greek, Hebrew, and Galician words were added to the ancient double-versicle “prosa” Alleluia: Gratulemur et letemur.

    Archive 2009-04-01

  • The cantor is using the tune from the Gradual at Easter Day mass: "A versicle for Easter Day, the Feast of the Resurrection of our Lord."

    Archive 2008-03-01

  • LLPB also offers this "versicle for the Feast of the Nativity of our Lord" mp3 The text is from the Prologue of John, and is for Christmas Day.

    The Christmas Office

  • He charged through the Our Father versicle, the boys doing a trailing response.

    At Swim, Two Boys

  • Under the vast inverted keel of the choir, dimly lit for Matins, the solemn words of the Office of the Dead echoed and re-echoed as sounds never seemed to do by day, and the fine, sonorous voice of Brother Benedict the sacristan was magnified to fill the whole vault as he read the lessons in between the spoken psalms, and at every ending came the insistent versicle and response:

    The Raven In The Foregate

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