Definition of Kyrie in US English:


(also Kyrie eleison)


  • A short repeated invocation (in Greek or in translation) used in many Christian liturgies, especially at the beginning of the Eucharist or as a response in a litany.

    • ‘We do the Gloria, the Sanctus, the Agnus Dei, and the Kyrie.’
    • ‘We then had the Collect for Purity, after which the choir sang a musical setting of a ninefold Kyrie.’
    • ‘They also played an excerpt from his Mass in C minor, with its haunting Kyrie.’
    • ‘Traditionally, the Kyrie is a prayer in which individuals ask God for mercy.’
    • ‘I came in during the Kyrie and played the end of it, and, when the priest had finished intoning the Gloria, I played a cadenza.’


From Greek Kuriē eleēson ‘Lord, have mercy’.