Definitions

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

  • n. A hymn or psalm sung when the ministers enter at the opening of a service, especially in the Anglican Church.
  • n. Roman Catholic Church The beginning of the Mass, usually consisting of an antiphon, a psalm verse, and the Gloria Patri.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A part of a psalm or other portion of Scripture read by the priest at Mass immediately after ascending to the altar.
  • n. An anthem or psalm sung before the Communion service.
  • n. Any composition of vocal music appropriate to the opening of church services.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A going in.
  • n.
  • n. A psalm sung or chanted immediately before the collect, epistle, and gospel, and while the priest is entering within the rails of the altar.
  • n. A part of a psalm or other portion of Scripture read by the priest at Mass immediately after ascending to the altar.
  • n. An anthem or psalm sung before the Communion service.
  • n. Any composition of vocal music appropriate to the opening of church services.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In liturgics, an antiphon sung by the priest and choir as the priest approaches the altar to celebrate the mass or communion.

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

  • n. a composition of vocal music that is appropriate for opening church services

Etymologies

Middle English, introit of the Mass, from Old French introite, from Medieval Latin introitus, sung passage at entrance of celebrant, from Latin introitus, entrance, from past participle of introīre, to enter : intrō-, in; see en in Indo-European roots + īre, to go; see ei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French introït, introïte, from Latin introitus ("entering”, “entrance"), from introeō ("I go within”, “I enter"), from intro- ("into") +  ("I go"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • And as it happens, we have such a thing explicated, in perhaps the most brilliant philosophical dialogue in all weird fiction, namely the introit to "The White People."

    Kenneth Hite's Journal

  • I'm particularly pleased that it includes two propers of the Mass, introit and communio.

    Installation Mass, Archbishop of New York

  • By the ninth century there were specific prayers for her feast day, and by the eleventh century there was "a complete mass dedicated to the saint (with introit, gradual, offertory, communion, and lessons)".

    Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog:

  • When we were at the noviciate, we observed, while serving his private Mass, that after the introit, the gradual, the offertory, the communion – all the sung pieces, in short – he would mark a pause, not found in the rubrics, and absorb himself in meditation.

    The Music Speaks Along with the Words

  • The first, given by Dr. Jennifer Donelson discussed the history and role of the Gregorian repertoire in the Roman Catholic Mass, especially the introit antiphon and gradual.

    Sacred Music Renewal in the Southeast: Musica Sacra Florida Gregorian Chant Conference

  • Of the Subdeacons, the Primicerius of the Cantores gathered up the chasuble already at the antiphon of the introit, the others like the Deacon after the oratio.

    Use, History and Development of the "Planeta Plicata" or Folded Chasuble

  • In any case, perhaps this is a good opportunity to highlight some contemporary ritual music, but first consider the authentic introit, which, you will observe, is neither old nor new but timeless and universal and beautiful precisely as chant has been traditionally described.

    Ascension Introit: Viri Galilaei

  • We sang all the propers of the Mass in a variety of different forms: choral introit, plainsong Psalm and acclamation, English chant for offertory, and Gregorian chant for communion.

    St. Cecilia Schola in Birmingham, Alabama

  • The organ begins the introit with an improvisation on the chant.

    Amy on the Organ

  • The meaning of the introit text and the communion chant are enhanced by their musical shape.

    Working Our Way to the High Mass

Comments

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  • Also a gangsta way of saying you're in Detroit.

    April 28, 2013