Definition of Sanctus in English:



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

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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 are three short movements to conclude the work and these are a Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei that last just about two minutes each.’


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