Definition of Sanctus in English:



Christian Church
  • A hymn beginning Sanctus, sanctus, sanctus (Holy, holy, holy) forming a set part of the Mass.

    • ‘There are three short movements to conclude the work and these are a Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei that last just about two minutes each.’
    • ‘We do the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei, and the Kyrie.’
    • ‘The Kyrie-Christe eleison, the Sanctus and the Agnus Dei are repeated three times in the course of a Low Mass and in addition, in the course of a High Mass, the censer is swung three times to waft incense over altar, servers and people.’
    • ‘Serafin conducts some of this work too quickly for my tastes; the Sanctus should not sound like the finale of Rossini's William Tell Overture, for example.’
    • ‘There is peace and consolation in this score as well, in the radiant affirmation of the ‘Lux Aeterna’ and in the glowing spatial benediction of the final Sanctus.’


Late Middle English: from Latin, literally ‘holy’.