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See also: introït



PIE word
A page from a 14th- or 15th-century missal.[n 1] The fourth passage is the introit (sense 3), and reads “Laetabitur justus in Domino, et sperabit in eo: et laudabuntur omnes recti corde” (“The just shall rejoice in the Lord, and shall hope in him: and all the upright in heart shall be praised”).

From Late Middle English introite (act of entering in or into, entrance; place of entrance),[1] borrowed from Old French introït, introïte (introit) (modern French introït),[2] or from its etymon Latin introitus (act of entering in or into, entrance; passage; place of entrance; (figuratively) beginning, introduction, prelude), from introeō (to enter, go in) + -tus (suffix forming action nouns from verbs).[3] Introeō is derived from intrō (to enter, go into) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁én (in)) + (to go) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₁ey- (to go)).



introit (plural introits)

  1. (Christianity, chiefly Protestantism, music) A composition of vocal music sung at the opening of a church service.
  2. (Christianity, chiefly Protestantism, music) An anthem or psalm sung before a Communion service.
  3. (Roman Catholicism, music) A part of a psalm or other portion of the Bible read or sung at Mass immediately after the priest ascends to the altar.
    Synonym: introitus
    • 1982, Andrew Hughes, “Mass”, in Medieval Manuscripts for Mass and Office: A Guide to Their Organization and Terminology, Toronto, Ont.; Buffalo, N.Y.: University of Toronto Press, published 2004, →ISBN, page 84:
      At some time during these sacerdotal preces the choir will usually have started the sung introit, the exact time for beginning the item dependent on a number of features such as the distance from sacristy to altar.
    • 2000, James [W.] McKinnon, “The Introit”, in The Advent Project: The Later-seventh-century Creation of the Roman Mass Proper, Berkeley; Los Angeles, Calif.; London: University of California Press, →ISBN, page 195:
      The earliest unequivocal reference to the Roman introit is from the turn-of-the-eighth-century Ordo romanus I, where the chant is described in its fully developed early medieval form. Consisting of an antiphon and psalm, it is sung during the entrance of the pope at the beginning of Mass.
  4. (Roman Catholicism, music) A psalm sung or chanted immediately before the collect, epistle, and gospel, and while the priest is entering within the rails of the altar, which begins with the lineRequiem aeternam dona eis, Domine” (“Grant them eternal rest, O Lord”).
  5. (obsolete) The action of entering or going in; an entrance.
  6. (obsolete, figuratively) An introduction.
  7. (obsolete, Christianity) The first few words of the office (daily service) for a particular day, sometimes used to refer to the day.

Derived terms[edit]



  1. ^ From the collection of the Helsinki University Library in Helsinki, Finland.


  1. ^ introite, n.”, in MED Online, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan, 2007.
  2. ^ introit, n.”, in Lexico,; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
  3. ^ Compare “introit, n.”, in OED Online Paid subscription required, Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1900.

Further reading[edit]




  1. third-person singular present active indicative of introeō