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

  • n. A hymn that accompanies the exit of the clergy and choir after a service.
  • n. A recession from a church.
  • adj. Of or relating to a recession.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Music played during a church recession.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Of or pertaining to recession or withdrawal.
  • n. 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 The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

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

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

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


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

recession +‎ -al


  • 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: Ah, Byzantium!

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

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

    The Centennial of the University of Virginia, 1819-1921

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

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  • 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.

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  • As the recessional played, pallbearers Jethro English, C. K. Steele, and Fred Bennette slowly carried the coffin down the center aisle and to the church foyer.

    Burial for a King


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