- (italics) the brief petition “Lord, have mercy,” used in various offices of the Greek Orthodox Church and of the Roman Catholic Church.
- the brief response or petition in services in the Anglican Church, beginning with the words, “Lord, have mercy upon us.”
- Also called Kyr·i·e. a musical setting of either of these.
Origin of Kyrie eleison
- a formal invocation used in the liturgies of the Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Anglican Churches
- a musical setting of this
Word Origin for Kyrie eleison
early 13c., Greek liturgical formula, adopted untranslated into the Latin mass, literally "lord have mercy" (Ps. cxxii:3, Matt. xv:22, xvii:15, etc.). From kyrie, vocative of kyrios "lord, master" (see church) + eleeson, aorist imperative of eleo "I have pity on, show mercy to," from eleos "pity, mercy" (see alms).