- Richard L. Crocker
Acclamation sung in the Latin Mass directly after the introit. The basic text, which is Greek, consists of ‘Kyrie eleison’ (three times), ‘Christe eleison’ (three times), ‘Kyrie eleison’ (three times): ‘Lord, have mercy … Christ, have mercy … Lord, have mercy …’. The expression ‘kyrie eleison’ was widely used as an acclamation in pagan civic and religious ceremonies under the Roman Empire, and continued in Christian usage, becoming fixed in various Christian liturgies from the 6th century onwards. Numerous musical settings are documented from the 10th century on. Since (in more recent practice at least) the text did not change from day to day, the Kyrie is counted a part of the Ordinary of the Mass....