Definition of offertory in English:



Christian Church
  • 1The offering of the bread and wine at the Eucharist.

    1. 1.1Prayers or music accompanying this.
      • ‘Imagine you are practicing a piece for a forthcoming concert, for a church offertory, or to accompany a trumpet player down the street.’
      • ‘Why do we sing in the offertory, ‘Take not your Holy Spirit from me?’’
      • ‘Preludes, offertories, anthems, postludes - these and their like are not essential to worship.’
      • ‘She has assembled a useful group of pieces suitable for church or Sunday school preludes, offertories or recessionals.’
      • ‘Since most of these arrangements are written in the keys of C, D, G, F and B-flat, young pianists can be shown how to combine several pieces to create longer music needed for preludes, offertories and communion.’
  • 2An offering or collection of money made at a religious service.

    • ‘First, we have our ‘assessment’ which is based on offertory - something like 10%.’
    • ‘The solo guitarist who played the sacred classical music during the offertory was Sam's brother Joey.’
    • ‘In my report I mentioned the lovely tin whistle playing at the offertory.’
    • ‘Congregational settings are often used for parts of the service such as the Kyrie and Gloria, while the choir may contribute a motet at the offertory or during the communion.’
    • ‘The amount has been partly raised by offertories £44 3s, proceeds of the four annual rummage sales £22 8s 6d, concerts £5 8s, while it also includes £11 12s 6d handed over by the late Vicar.’
    • ‘During the offertory, he played the trumpet, and the piper piped during the communion.’
    • ‘When the church was consecrated in 1853 the offertory amounted to £54.’
    • ‘At the cathedral teachers were secured for the boy's school through seat rents supplemented by church offertories and school fees.’
    offering, offertory, tithe
    View synonyms


Late Middle English: from ecclesiastical Latin offertorium offering from late Latin offert- (which replaced Latin oblat-) offered from the verb offerre (see offer).