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Litany (from Lat. litania, letania; Gk. litaneia, from litē: ‘prayer’)locked

  • Michel Huglo,
  • Edward Foley,
  • John Harper
  •  and David Nutter


A prayer form, usually characterized by the announcement of varying invocations (e.g. names of deities or saints) or supplications (Lat. deprecationes, preces etc.) by a leader, each of which is followed by a fixed congregational response. This genre may be distinguished from other responsorial forms by the relative brevity, sometimes parity, of the call and response elements, giving it something of an insistent quality. Often quite rhythmic, litanies frequently accompany processions. Thus the term can signify the procession itself or the day upon which the procession occurs....

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