Definition of responsory in English:


nounplural noun responsories

  • (in the Christian Church) an anthem said or sung by a soloist and choir after a lesson.

    ‘I was introduced to his music by something he probably considered rather minor: a little book of hymns and responsories for the church year.’
    • ‘The chants set were Vespers responsories, Mass graduals, and alleluias, and perhaps some processional antiphons.’
    • ‘Prime refers to the Divine Office, the regimen of worship separated into daily ‘hours’ - those psalms, canticles, hymns, responsories, antiphons, and so on, distinct from the mass.’
    • ‘What is not said in these notes is that this piece is a responsory, found in most manuscripts on Monday in the first week of Lent.’



/rəˈspänsərē/ /rəˈspɑnsəri/


Late Middle English from late Latin responsorium, from Latin respons- ‘answered’ from the verb respondere (see respond).